Staff Grievance Procedure

When necessary, employees are afforded the right to use the grievance procedure (officers and probationary employees are not covered by this policy).

Matters considered under this policy include:

  • Counseling and disciplinary actions taken against an employee
  • Promotion or transfer decisions
  • Matters that have serious implications on an employee's employment

Ratings given during performance appraisals, work assignments, and layoffs are not matters covered by this process. To determine if a matter falls under the grievance procedure, contact Human Resources at or by calling 804-289-8747.

Informal Resolution

The employee must bring forth the grievance to their immediate supervisor within one calendar week after the time that they first has knowledge of the event or circumstance that is the basis for the grievance.

No grievance may be considered under this procedure after one year from the date of such event or circumstance.

Since most grievances can be settled through a conversation between the employee and their immediate supervisor, a formal written grievance will not be considered unless:

  • The grievance has first been discussed with the supervisor.
  • The supervisor has had three working days to respond to the employee.

Informal Discussion with Human Resources Staff Present

An employee may wish to discuss their complaint in a discussion facilitated by a member of the University’s Human Resources office. In such case, the complainant should notify the appropriate HR Business Partner of their desire to pursue this option. The HR Business Partner will make an independent assessment as to whether informal resolution is appropriate, given the nature of the allegation, and, if it is, will coordinate such a discussion.

Formal Resolution

If the informal attempt at resolution has not resolved the disputed matter to the satisfaction of the aggrieved employee, then:

The employee may submit a letter to their immediate supervisor within three working days after receiving the supervisor's response. A copy must also be sent to the chief Human Resources officer (CHRO).

The letter should be signed, dated, and include:

  1. Date(s) of the occurrence(s)
  2. Statement and basis of the grievance and that the document submitted be treated as a formal complaint
  3. A specific description for the conduct or behavior upon which the complaint is based; and
  4. Attempts (including dates) made to resolve the grievance

Upon receipt of the letter, CHRO (or designee) will meet separately with the employee, the supervisor, and with any other person or persons deemed appropriate. The CHRO will review documents and other materials deemed necessary for a full review of the facts related to the grievance.

The CHRO will provide the employee with a decision within three (3) working days after the review has been completed. However, the CHRO may extend or modify the time limits.

Appeal Procedure

If the aggrieved employee is not satisfied by the decision of the CHRO, then they must file a written appeal with the CHRO. The appeal must be filed within ten (10) working days of learning of the decision.

The appeal must include the following:

  • The basis for the appeal, which must be detailed and
  • Any factual information supporting the basis for the appeal.

The appeal will be considered by a grievance appeal committee of three or more persons to be appointed by the Vice President for Business and Finance of the University.

The grievance appeal committee will meet with the aggrieved employee at a mutually convenient time. At this meeting, the aggrieved employee may be accompanied, if they so desire, by a non-attorney representative or advisor of their choosing. The representative or advisor must be a University employee.

The committee may also elect to meet separately with the CHRO or their designee and any other person(s) it deems necessary for a full review of the facts. The committee will make a recommendation to the Vice President for Business and Finance of the University. The decision of the Vice President for Business and Finance to approve, disapprove, or modify the recommendation shall be final.

The decision on a request for an appeal shall be made within thirty (30) days of the receipt of the appeal, unless there is good cause for a reasonable extension of this time period. In which event, the CHRO or their designee shall provide written notice to the aggrieved employee.

Upon reaching a decision on a request for an appeal, the Vice President for Business and Finance shall provide written notification of their decision to the aggrieved employee and to the CHRO.

Revised: 3.1.24