Davidson strives to maintain open communication and create an atmosphere of trust. In any work environment, there are times when the need arises to express concerns or complaints in a formal manner. The college recognizes the importance of providing an opportunity for its employees to express concerns and receive a fair and unbiased review of these concerns.
These procedures apply to all regular full-time and part-time staff members of the college. Members of the faculty should refer to the Faculty Handbook for Faculty grievance procedures.
This policy covers complaints from employees concerning wages, hours of work, working conditions, performance evaluations, merit raises, job assignments, reprimands, or the interpretation or application of a rule, regulation, or policy.
This policy does not apply to complaints from employees regarding termination of employment due to disciplinary action. Complaints of discrimination or harassment are addressed by the Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy.
Discussion with Immediate Supervisor
A concern or complaint should first be discussed with the immediate supervisor. Most concerns can be resolved at this level if an employee and supervisor take time to discuss the concern and seek ways to jointly address the issue.
Written Grievance to Immediate Supervisor
If the employee is not satisfied with the results of the informal discussion, the grievance may be documented and submitted to the immediate supervisor as a written complaint. The following information should be presented in writing:
- The specific complaint or concern.
- Any facts or additional information which could be useful in evaluation of the complaint.
- The specific remedy or corrective action sought.
The immediate supervisor shall then have five working days to respond to the complaint in writing unless scheduling conflicts intervene.
If the employee complaint is regarding harassment or discrimination, or if the employee is concerned about potential retaliation by the immediate supervisor for making a complaint, then the employee should bring the complaint directly to the Department Head or to Human Resources (See Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy).
Review of Grievance by Department Head
If not satisfied with the written answer from the immediate supervisor, the grievance may be submitted to the department head (second level supervisor) for review. A copy should also be sent to Human Resources. The request for review must be in writing and should include the following:
- A summary of all previous efforts to resolve the problem.
- The formal complaint submitted to the immediate supervisor.
- The immediate supervisor's written response to the formal complaint.
- The grounds for the employee's objection to the immediate supervisor's response.
The department head should evaluate the information received and respond to the employee as quickly as possible, conferring with the immediate supervisor, the division PES member, and Human Resources. The department head's response should be presented to the employee, the immediate supervisor and Human Resources in writing.
The employee may be accompanied by another college employee during meetings associated with any of the above steps.
Appealing the Grievance
The employee may appeal the department head's response to the President. An appeal must be filed within thirty (30) days after the employee receives the department head's written response. An appeal is deemed filed when the employee delivers to the Director of Human Resources a written statement indicating the grounds for appeal and copies of: (i) the grievance, (ii) the request for review, and (iii) the written responses of the immediate supervisor and the department head.
Only matters raised in the original grievance or the request for review may be appealed and no new complaints may be added or considered in this appeal. The scope of appeal is limited to review of the following grounds for appeal:
- The immediate supervisor or department head violated college rules, regulations, or policies, and such violation was prejudicial to the employee;
- The immediate supervisor or department head violated the procedures set forth in this grievance policy, and such violation was prejudicial to the employee; or
- The grievance process was improperly influenced by errors of fact, gross prejudice, capricious behavior, or other factors contrary to good personnel management practices or Davidson College policy, and such improper influence was prejudicial to the employee.
The Director of Human Resources will review the information submitted and may allow the employee to amend the written statement of appeal in order to address any deficiencies identified by the Director of Human Resources. Once this review is complete, the Director of Human Resources will forward the appeal to the President. At the request of the President, the Director of Human Resources shall issue a confidential statement of position to accompany the appeal, which may include information from any internal investigation conducted by Human Resources into matters related to the grievance. This confidential statement shall be distributed only to the President and legal counsel for the college.
The employee has no right to a hearing on appeal. The President will review the information submitted on appeal and issue a decision, which shall be finally dispositive of the grievance.
Questions regarding this policy should be directed to Human Resources at 704-894-2213.