Grievance Policy for Classified Employees
Date Enacted or Revised: November 28, 2006; Revised February 2016; March 16, 2022
The purpose of this policy is to provide information regarding civil service employee grievance rights and procedures.
It is the policy of the University to develop and maintain a satisfied and efficient work force. In furtherance of this policy, when a classified employee feels they has been treated unjustly and cannot resolve the problem at a supervisory level, they have the right to use an internal grievance procedure without fear of coercion, discrimination, or reprisal.
The classified grievance procedure is one means of addressing employee complaints. Employee problems should be resolved at the lowest level possible and at the earliest possible opportunity. It is incumbent upon every supervisor to provide the classified employee with an opportunity to be heard in accordance with the classified grievance procedure, if the problem cannot be resolved at a supervisory level.
A classified grievance is an internal procedure used to resolve classified employee issues and personnel actions that are not appealable to the civil service director or to the Civil Service Commission.
What is appealable to the director of civil service?
- An allocation or reallocation decision – Rule 5.3;
- The rejection of an application – Rule 22.5;
- A determination that an applicant lacks the minimum qualifications – Rule 22.5; and
- A reviewer’s decision concerning a performance evaluation given to a permanent employee – Rule 10.14.
What is appealable to the Civil Service Commission?
- A suspension without pay, reduction in pay, involuntary demotion, or dismissal of a permanent employee;
- A non‐disciplinary removal of a permanent employee;
- An employment action/decision that discriminates against an employee because of their political or religious beliefs, sex, or race;
- A layoff of a permanent employee; and
- An employment action/decision that violates a Civil Service Rule other than a rule in Chapter 10 or the Civil Service Article (Article X, Part 1 of the Louisiana State Constitution).
The provisions of the classified grievance procedures contained herein are based on the authority of Civil Service Rule 3.1(m) and the provisions of the Louisiana State Constitution, Article X.
- In such cases where the employee claims harassment by anyone in their chain of command, the employee may skip the grievance step that would directly involve that individual and may proceed to the next appropriate step.
- An employee may not use the grievance procedure for dissatisfaction with the result of their annual performance evaluation system (PES) evaluation process. The employee should refer to the Performance Evaluation System Policy to request an official review of the performance evaluation.
- An employee may not use the grievance procedure to answer or address a letter of counsel, warning, and/or reprimand given to them by the supervisor. The employee has the right to give a written response in that circumstance.
- The grievance procedure for classified employees will be made available to all classified employees.
- The appointing authority or their delegate is responsible for administering the official grievance procedure for classified employees. The director of human resources and student employment will inform the appointing authority of all grievances submitted to the Office of Human Resources and Student Employment.
- The appointing authority or their delegate may appoint a grievance hearing officer or committee to hear a grievance.
- The grievant shall be given notice at least five calendar days in advance of the hearing, unless this is waived by the grievant.
- The time and place of the hearing shall be specified by the appointing authority. The hearing is to take place during regular business hours at a place accessible to the grievant.
- The University has the right to collect evidence in a manner that is least disruptive to operations and most cost-effective.
- In the University’s grievance procedure, the complainant and respondent may make statements at the grievance panel hearing.
- An employee who files a grievance may be granted appropriate time during work hours to be involved with the procedure; however, employees have no right to use excessive amounts of work time for grievances. The University has a responsibility to ensure that the effective and efficient operations of the work unit continue without disruption. Grievance rights do not relieve an employee of the responsibility to do the assigned job. The employee must consult with the Office of Human Resources and Student Employment about the need to use time from their position to handle grievance related matters.
- No employee may use their position to coerce, attempt to coerce, or influence in any improper manner any hearing officer or member of a grievance committee. Such actions will lead to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
- An employee who files a grievance has no right to representation at any step of the process. The employee will be given the right to call for witnesses if applicable.
- Grievance documents are not necessarily accessible to the general public. To protect and guard these documents, all grievance documents will be maintained in the Office of Human Resources and Student Employment.
- The University reserves the right to consolidate grievances as necessary for the following reasons:
- Multiple grievances filed by an employee that involve similar or related circumstances; and
- Separate grievances filed by two or more employees regarding the same issues.
- All grievances should be presented within 14 calendar days from the date the employee first became aware of, or should have become aware of, the cause of such grievance.
- The grievance must be submitted on the official Grievance Form.
- The grievant will present the grievance to the immediate supervisor and a copy to the director of human resources and student employment, and, if possible, it should be settled at that level.
- The immediate supervisor must provide a written response to the employee on the complaint within seven calendar days and must provide a copy to the director of human resources and student employment.
- If the grievant is not satisfied with the first step response, or if a response is not provided within the prescribed time limit, the grievant may present the grievance to the appropriate section, division, or unit head and a copy to the director of human resources and student employment.
- This shall occur:
- Within seven calendar days following the date the employee received the supervisor’s response; or
- Within seven calendar days following the date the supervisor’s response was due, if the supervisor fails to respond within the prescribed time limit.
- The section, division, or unit head must investigate, afford the grievant an opportunity to present their viewpoint, and provide the grievant a written response containing findings and recommendations within 14 calendar days of receipt of the written grievance and provide a copy to the director of human resources and student employment.
- If the grievant is not satisfied with the second step response, or if the second step response is not provided within the prescribed time limit, the grievant may present the grievance to the appointing authority or their designee. If the grievant does not know who this is, the Office of Human Resources and Student Employment can provide guidance.
- This shall occur:
- Within seven calendar days following the date the employee received the second step response; or
- Within seven calendar days following the date the second step response was due, if the second step response is not made within the prescribed time limit.
- The appointing authority or designee must conduct either a hearing, an investigation if deemed appropriate, or a review of the first and second step responses, and must issue a written decision within 21 calendar days following the date the grievance entered the third step.
This policy is distributed via the Administrative Advisory Council and the University Policies webpage.