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FACULTY/STAFF > DEPARTMENTS & OFFICES > HUMAN RESOURCES > HUMAN RESOURCES POLICIES > PROBLEM SOLVING / APPEAL PROCESS
Problem Solving / Appeal Process

1.0 Policy
1.1 It is the policy of Robert Morris University to provide all employees with a formal method to express work-related problems and to provide a mechanism to ensure fair and consistent resolutions to the work-related problems.

1.1.1 This policy is not intended to replace informal discussions with department managers, the Officers of the University or the Human Resources Department to resolve work-related problems.

1.1.1.1 In the event that an employee does not want to address a problem with their supervisor through informal discussions, the Human Resources Department should be contacted.

1.2 Sexual Harassment issues are to be handled in accordance with the Sexual Harassment Administrative Policy.

2.0 Scope
2.1 This policy applies to full-time, regular part-time, and part-time employees.

3.0 Procedure
3.1 Step 1 - Prior to entering into the formal process, employees must discuss the complaint/situation directly with his/her immediate department manager and department director.

3.1.1 Employees will not be permitted to submit a complaint through this process without trying to resolve the complaint/situation.

3.2 Step 2 - The Employee and the Process Facilitator - In the event that the problem is not resolved, employees may elect to submit the complaint in writing on the specified form (available through the Human Resources Department) to the Assistant Vice President for Administration and Human Resources or designee.

3.2.1 This procedure must be initiated by the employee no later than 10 working days following the incident or when the employee becomes aware of the incident.

3.2.2 The Assistant Vice President for Administration and Human Resources (or designee) will serve as the process facilitator in the problem solving/appeal process. To help resolve problems as quickly as possible, the facilitator will help ensure responses to the employee are timely and the employee is kept informed of the status of the problem solving process.

3.2.3 If assistance is needed during the problem solving/appeal process, employees should consult with the process facilitator.

3.2.4 All complaint forms submitted must include a suggested resolution to the problem.

3.3 Step 3: The process facilitator will review the complaint/situation to determine if it will be eligible to proceed in the process.

3.3.1 To be eligible for the process, the complaint must involve the interpretation, enforcement, or application of current policies/practices of Robert Morris University.

3.3.2 This policy can not be utilized outside of the standards of III.C.1.

3.4 Step 4: The process facilitator will contact and forward a copy of the complaint form to the department director involved in the complaint.

3.4.1 The department director has five (5) working days from the receipt of the complaint to submit a written response to the complainant. The response must be attached to the original complaint form.

3.4.2 The response will be sent to the process facilitator.

3.4.3 The process facilitator may schedule a meeting with the employee and department director to review the response.

3.5 If the employee disagrees with the department director's response, he/she must appeal the decision to the process facilitator within three working days of the receipt of the response. The employee must explain in writing (attached to the original complaint) the reasons for disagreement.

3.6 Step 5: The process facilitator will contact and forward the complaint to the vice president responsible for the department.

3.6.1 The vice president has three (3) working days from the receipt of the complaint to submit a written response to the complaint. The response is to be attached to the original complaint form.

3.6.2 The response will be sent to the process facilitator.

3.6.3 The process facilitator may schedule a meeting with the employee and the vice president to review the response.

3.7 If the employee disagrees with the response of the vice president, he/she must appeal the decision to the process facilitator within three (3) working days of receipt of the response. The employee must explain in writing (attached to the original complaint) the reasons for disagreement.

3.8 Step 6: The process facilitator will contact and forward the complaint to the President. This is the final step of the problem solving process.

3.8.1 The President has five (5) working days to submit a written response to the complaint. The response is to be attached to the original complaint form.

3.8.2 The President will render a final and binding decision.

3.8.3 The final decision will be forwarded to the process facilitator.

3.8.4 The process facilitator may schedule a meeting with the employee and the President to review the response.

4.0 Other Provisions
4.1 If a meeting is desired in any step of the process, it shall be scheduled at a mutually convenient time between the parties.

4.2 A complaint not appealed and processed within the time limits specified in Steps 2 through 6 shall not be eligible for further discussion or appeal. However, by agreement in writing, the parties may extend or modify any of the time limitations provided for in the outlined procedures.

4.3 If a decision is not rendered within the time limits established in steps 2 through 6, the complaint shall automatically progress to the next step.

4.4 Saturday, Sunday, and designated holidays shall not be included in the time limits mentioned.

4.5 During the entire procedure, the employee filing the complaint has the responsibility of informing the process facilitator whether or not the complaint has been resolved.

4.6 Employees will not be subject to reprimand or harassment by anyone as a result of initiating and utilizing the problem solving/appeal process.

4.7 In each step of the process, the investigator/decision maker may use various methods to gather information/assist in his/her decision-making such as discussions with appropriate employees, a meeting with the employee initiating the complaint, etc.

Effective: 02/01/2000