Chapter 30 – Grievance Procedure for Biweekly Student Employees

(Regents 6/27-28/74; amended 9/93; 8/1/23)

Effective August 1, 2023, this policy has been revised. For individual changes, see the redlined version.

  1. Eligibility. This procedure has been established to provide covered bi-weekly student employees with a formal process for resolving workplace disputes. The procedure shall apply to and be considered the right of any University of Iowa biweekly student employee who: 
    1. Is a student currently registered in an undergraduate, graduate, or professional program at the University of Iowa; and 
    2. Has no other employee grievance procedure available for use. Specifically, employees covered under the Graduate Student Employment Standards are not covered by this grievance procedure. 
  2. Definition. A "grievance" is a complaint or dispute regarding the interpretation or application of established policies and/or procedures governing terms of employment, working conditions, hours of work or compensation. Wage adjustments are excluded from the grievance procedure. 
  3. Filing time limits. A  grievance must be initiated within 30 calendar days of the date of discovery, by the employee, of the grievance. The date of the act, event, or discovery shall not be included in the computing of calendar days. Under no circumstance shall a grievance be considered timely after 12 calendar months from the date of the occurrence.  
  4. Accompaniment. The employee shall have the right to be accompanied by no more than two nonconflicted observers or support persons at all stages of the grievance process. It is a violation of institutional policy to restrain, interfere with, coerce, or discriminate against an employee acting as a support person in accordance with this procedure. 
  5. Employee grievance preparation. The employee shall be allowed a reasonable time, not to exceed four hours, off from duties without loss of pay to investigate a grievance. Such time is to be scheduled with the supervisor's permission. What constitutes a reasonable time shall be determined by mutual consent of the parties involved. If the parties are unable to agree, the time reasonably necessary to investigate the grievance will be determined by the Director of University Employee and Labor Relations (for main campus employees); Director, Labor and Employee Relations, UI Health Care (for healthcare employees); or designee. 
  6. Time limits and waiver. All levels of supervisory personnel involved shall be directed to consider grievances as soon as is reasonably possible. An extension of the time limits specified in the grievance procedure may be made when mutually agreed upon by the parties or when supervisory scheduling or availability so requires. Failure of management to provide a response within the stated or agreed-upon timeframe will constitute a denial of the grievance. Failure of the employee to appeal a grievance from one level to another within the time periods specified herein shall constitute a waiver of the grievance.
  7. Adjustment of grievances.The mechanism for handling grievance proceedings is as follows. An effort shall first be made to resolve or adjust an alleged grievance informally between the employee and the immediate supervisor. Such informal efforts to resolve the grievance must be initiated in writing by the employee within 30 calendar days following the time at which the employee could reasonably have been made aware of the grievance. At a mutually agreeable time, the employee presents the grievance orally to the employee’s immediate supervisor. If the parties are unable to resolve the grievance informally, the employee may proceed with the grievance as follows.
    1. Step 1. If the grievance is not resolved through informal discussions, the grievance must be filed in writing with the immediate supervisor within 45 calendar days following the time at which the employee could reasonably have been aware of the grievance. The writing shall set forth with reasonable particularity: 
      1. The specific events and issue(s) involved;
      2. The date of the incident(s) or alleged violation(s) that took place; 
      3. The specific policy or procedure alleged to have been violated; 
      4. The date of the oral presentation of the grievance to the immediate supervisor; and 
      5. The relief sought. 

        Within 14 calendar days of receiving the written grievance, the immediate supervisor shall respond to the employee in writing stating with reasonable particularity the supervisor's understanding of the facts and the supervisor's response.  If not resolved: 
    2. Step 2. The written grievance shall be sent by the employee within 14 calendar days of receipt of the supervisor's response to the department head or a designee. A meeting called by the administrator will then be held, if possible within 10 calendar days of receipt of the grievance or as soon thereafter as is feasible among the administrator, the department head or their designee, the employee and the employee's support person, if any. A written response is required within 10 calendar days following the meeting. The response must be written by the department head in consultation with the administrator. If not resolved: 
    3. Step 3. The written grievance shall be forwarded by the employee within 14 calendar days of receipt of the department head's response to the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer. Within 10 calendar days of the receipt of the written grievance, or as soon thereafter as feasible, a meeting should be called by the Chief Human Resources Officer or designee of appropriate parties necessary to review the issues related to the grievance, at which the employing department and the employee may present arguments and/or witnesses in support of their position. The final administrative determination will be made by the Chief Human Resources Officer, or designee, in consultation where appropriate with the Vice President for Student Life, to be communicated to the parties in writing within 10 calendar days of the meeting. 

      The decision of the Chief Human Resources Officer or their designee shall constitute final university action on the grievance.

(See also III-31.)