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40.043: Problem-Solving Procedure for Classified Employees




July 31, 2009

Initiated by:

Luis Lewin | Chief Human Resource Officer

Endorsed by:

Kathy Krendl | Executive Vice President and Provost

Approved by:

Roderick J. McDavis | President

Signatures and dates on archival copy
  1. Overview

    This policy provides a procedure to address issues for all non-bargaining-unit, Classified employees.

    This policy provides employees the opportunity to present their complaints, problems, or concerns to management in lieu of filing with the state personnel board of review ("SPBR"). The SPBR is available to classified employees to hear appeals of actions, including reduction in pay or position, job abolishments, layoff, suspension, discharge, assignment or reassignment to a new or different position classification, and disability separations. The SPBR has time limits on appeals, ten calendar days for some issues, which means the employee must file promptly. Filing a complaint with the university does not extend the time to file with the SPBR; hence, in many cases, the employee must choose between using this policy and using the SPBR for any particular issue; see http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/124-1-03.

    Any employee who has filed with the SPBR and wishes to discuss resolution should contact the chief human resource officer or the senior director of human resources to determine whether resolution is possible.

    Any employee whose problem involves alleged discrimination will be directed to the office for equity and civil rights compliance (see policy 40.001).

    Performance evaluations and level of pay are not subject to this process, but may be appealed to one's supervisor.

    Initial probationary removal orders are not subject to appeal under civil service law or university policy.

    Retaliation against the filing employee or retaliation against any employee involved in this problem-solving process is prohibited. Retaliation by management or by another employee may be disciplinable up to and including termination.

    The time limits specified in the procedure may be extended only by mutual written agreement of the parties concerned. If an answer is not received within the specified time limits, the issue automatically proceeds to the next step. For purposes of time limits, work days herein shall be defined as Monday through Friday. Holidays will be considered work days for purposes of time limits herein.

  2. Level one

    If the issue is not settled during informal discussions, the employee shall reduce all facts concerning the issue to writing and present it to the employee's supervisor for discussion and resolution within ten working days after completion of informal discussions. In reducing the issue or problem to writing, the employee shall state the nature of the act or acts on which the problem is based, the time such acts occurred, the Ohio university policy or procedure that has been violated, and the remedy requested. If the employee desires assistance in reducing the problem to writing, classified senate may be asked for assistance in drafting the document. The employee's supervisor shall answer within ten working days after the problem has been presented. The answer should be in writing and indicate the facts and provisions of the Ohio university policy and procedure upon which the response is based.

  3. Level two

    If the problem is not settled at level one, it will be presented by the employee to the planning unit head within ten working days after receiving the level one response, for discussion and possible resolution. The planning unit head shall give the employee a written response within ten working days.

  4. Level three

    If the problem is still unresolved at level two, it will be presented by the employee to the classified senate chair, with a copy each to the senior director of human resources and to the planning unit head, within ten working days after receiving the level two response. Within fourteen calendar days, the chair shall appoint an ad hoc review committee composed of four classified staff persons, one of whom will be appointed to chair the committee and write its report, and none of whom shall be employed in the employee's planning unit. A fifth committee member may be appointed from the office for equity and civil rights compliance, the office of the ombudsman, or another appropriate division according to the judgment of the classified senate chair; that individual may be, but need not be, a classified employee. The review committee will review the complete record. The committee will meet with the employee to discuss the committee's authority, as defined in this policy, and the process for reviewing the issue.

    The committee will notify the employee, the employee's dean, vice president, or provost, the chief human resource officer, and the chair of the classified senate of its written recommendation within thirty days of receiving the documentation of the issue. The chief human resource officer will have fourteen calendar days to accept or reject the committee's recommendation, and will notify the employee of his or her decision in writing. The chief human resource officer will also give that written decision to the chair of the classified senate (who will relay the decision to the review committee), and to the other recipients of the committee's recommendation. The chief human resource officer or designee will follow-up with the affected employee and department head within thirty days to determine compliance with the written decision.

    All meetings shall be conducted in a private and secure setting. The employee may withdraw from the process, at any time, without penalty, by notifying the chair of classified senate in writing. The chair of classified senate will notify the review committee and request from the committee a summary of its work to date. All records related to the solution process will be retained by classified senate.

    Guidelines for classified senate review committees are held by the classified senate chair and distributed to review committees each time they are appointed. They are also available in the office for equity and civil rights compliance, university human resources, and through the classified senate web site at https://www.ohio.edu/csen/.


Proposed revisions of this policy should be reviewed by:

  1. Vice President for Finance and Administration

  2. Senior Director of Human Resources

  3. Planning Unit Heads

  4. Classified Senate