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UPS Complaint Procedure

 

Effective Date: July 1, 2015
Last Updated: May 18, 2015
Next Review: July 1, 2016

 

University Staff Policies and Procedures
UWUS GEN 24

SUBJECT: Complaint Policy

Original Issuance Date: July 1, 2015

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INTRODUCTION

This policy provides for the establishment of procedures to deal with allegations concerning the conduct by a University Staff member that violates the rules or policies of the UW System institution, or allegations of a situation which adversely affects a University Staff member’s job performance or obligation to the university.

If the allegation involves equal opportunity and nondiscrimination regardless of race, creed, ancestry, religion, color, sex, national origin, age, disability, arrest or conviction record, marital status, pregnancy, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, veteran status, membership in the national guard, state defense force or any other reserve component of the military force of the United States or this state, or any other protected status in its educational programs, activities, and employment policies the allegation should be immediately reported to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

If the allegation involves sexual misconduct including sexual assault, sexual harassment, gender-based stalking, and/or relationship violence (domestic or dating) the allegation shall be reported to the Title IX Coordinator within the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and/or the Dean of Students Office.  

DEFINITIONS

A "complaint" is a written allegation by or against a university staff member in which university rules or policies are violated, or in which job performance or obligation to the university is adversely affected.  A complaint is not serious enough to warrant dismissal proceedings under UWP UPS ??.

A "grievance" involves an alleged violation of conditions of employment and is not covered under this policy.  A grievance is covered under UWP UPS??.

A “complainant” is the person filing the complaint.  A complainant can be anybody including university staff, administrators, students, academic staff, faculty, or members of the public.

The “respondent” is the university staff member who the complaint is filed against.  

A “supervisor(s)” is a person or persons with that title, a chairperson, a dean, a director, a senior administrator, or another person functioning in that official capacity.

A “calendar day” excludes legal holiday in all cases

The “impartial hearing committee” will consist of three (3) University Staff members, and two (2) Academic Staff members.  The committee members shall be selected from among the members of the University Staff Committee, the Academic Staff Committee, the Title Review Committee, or from a pool of University Staff members that have volunteered to serve for three years.  The committee members will be appointed by the Chancellor working in consultation with the Chair of the University Staff Committee and the Chair of the Academic Staff Committee.  Members of the committee and the pool of volunteers will receive formal training in complaint and grievance policies, procedures, and best practices.  Any individual chosen to serve on the impartial hearing committee shall remain in pay status to duly fulfill their responsibilities associated with being on the committee.

INFORMAL RESOLUTION

Before seeking a remedy through the complaint procedure the complainant is strongly advised and encouraged to discuss the complaint with the immediate supervisor of the employee with whom they have a concern or conflict or appropriate parties to settle the matter informally.  If the complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome of the informal resolution process or if the issue remains unresolved, the complainant should move forward with the complaint procedure.

COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

The complainant should file a formal complaint.  The complaint shall be a clear and concise written statement of the alleged incident or violation, and should include:

  • The date(s)/time(s) the incident or violation took place;
  • The reason(s) the complainant believes the alleged incident or violation warrants review;
  • The relief sought;
  • What, if anything, has been done to attempt to resolve the complaint;
  • The complainant’s signature/date.

Step 1: The complainant shall present the complaint to the respondent’s immediate supervisor(s) within seven (7) calendar days after the informal resolution attempt.  Within seven (7) calendar days of receipt of the complaint, the supervisor(s) shall return a written statement to the complainant and the respondent, listing what, if anything, will be done to remedy the situation.

Step 2: If the complainant is dissatisfied with the response from Step 1, the complainant should submit the following to the “next level supervisor in the respondent’s reporting chain”, (Note: if the respondent’s supervisor is also a direct report of the Chancellor, the complainant should proceed directly to Step 3) as appropriate within seven (7) calendar days of receiving the written statement.

  • A copy of the original complaint;
  • A copy of the supervisor’s statement;
  • A statement explaining why the supervisor’s response is not satisfactory.

Within fourteen (14) calendar days of receipt of the complaint the “next level supervisor in the respondent’s reporting chain” shall meet with the complainant, the respondent, and the supervisor(s) to discuss the complaint.  Within seven (7) calendar days of the meeting “next level supervisor in the respondent’s reporting chain” shall return a written statement to all the parties involved, describing what, if anything, will be done to remedy the situation.

Step 3: If the complainant is dissatisfied with the response from Step 2, the complainant must appeal to the chairperson of the University Staff Committee within seven (7) calendar days of receiving the written statement and submit:

  • A copy of the original complaint;
  • A copy of the supervisor’s statement;
  • A copy of the dean, division head, or provost statement;
  • A statement explaining why previous responses have not been satisfactory.

Upon receipt of the written statement and within seven (7) calendar days, the Chair of the University Staff Committee shall appoint an Impartial Hearing Committee.  The Impartial Hearing Committee shall schedule a hearing within fourteen (14) calendar days of the date of receipt of the written statement.  The hearing must take place within twenty-one (21) calendar days of receipt of the written statement.  The complainant and the respondent will be notified of the hearing date at least seven (7) calendar days in advance.  The complainant and the respondent may each bring up to three (3) additional persons to support their positions.  In all hearings, the burden of proof shall be on the complainant.

Within seven (7) calendar days of the conclusion of the hearing the Impartial Hearing Committee shall notify all parties, in writing, of the decision.

Step 4:  Should the complainant be dissatisfied with the response of the Impartial Hearing Committee, the complaint shall be brought to the Chancellor within seven (7) calendar days of the decision from the Impartial Hearing Committee.  After reviewing all relevant documents the Chancellor shall return a written statement to all the parties within twenty-one (21) calendar days.  The decision of the Chancellor is final.

RECORD KEEPING

The UW-Parkside Human Resources Office shall be copied on all informal and formal decisions(s) related to the complaint and shall act as the official record keeper.  The decision(s) shall be maintained in both the complainant and respondent’s files.  

JOINT RESPONSIBILITY 

The UW-Parkside Human Resources Office and the University Staff Committee will share joint responsibility for evaluating the effectiveness of this policy by conducting yearly reviews of this Complaint Policy.  The Human Resources Office may provide procedural assistance for employees if needed.

RELATED DOCUMENTS

UW System UPS Operational Policy #GEN 24 Complaint Procedures
WI Admin Code Chapter UWS 6 Faculty Complaints and Grievances
WI Admin Code Chapter 13 Academic Staff Complaints and Grievances
WI Admin Code Chapter 18 Conduct on University Lands

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