Resolution of Differences
FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON UNIVERSITY
Subject: Resolution of Differences
Applies to: All Senior Administrative and Professional and Administrative Staff
For Policy Interpretation Contact: Human Resources Department
The University realizes that differences may arise between employees and supervisors and it is committed to ensuring that both employee and supervisor have the opportunity to present information relating to the differences and that the differences are settled quickly and fairly.
II. DEFINITION AND REGULATION
The differences covered under this policy can only be those issues not specifically covered by University policy or established University procedure and may be brought by the employee only– not by the supervisor.
All information pertaining to this procedure will be handled and filed in a confidential manner by the Human Resource professional responsible for Employee Relations and will not be a part of the employee’s personnel file.
All documents pertaining to the difference will be retained by the HR professional responsible for Employee Relations and will not be available to the Committee after it has made a recommendation.
All time periods within the policy may be modified, as necessary, if agreed to by the parties involved.
- Meeting between employee and supervisor to attempt a resolution.
- Employee meets with the Human Resource professional responsible for Employee Relations who counsels the employee and advises of applicable policies or procedures.
- The HR professional responsible for Employee Relations will attempt to resolve the differences between the employee and supervisor. This may be through a meeting with the HR professional and both the employee and supervisor, or the HR professional may meet with the parties separately– whichever is considered appropriate under the circumstances.
Failing resolution at this stage, the process becomes formal.
- The employee prepares a written statement outlining the differences existing between the employee and supervisor and all pertinent information regarding the differences including the desired resolution. The statement is forwarded by the employee to the Human Resources professional responsible for Employee Relations who will acknowledge receipt of the formal statement and forward a copy to the supervisor within five working days.
- The supervisor will respond in writing within five working days and submit the answer to the HR professional responsible for Employee Relations who will deliver the response to the employee.
- The HR professional responsible for Employee Relations contacts the employee upon receipt of the written response from the supervisor to determine whether the employee wants to discuss the response.
- The supervisor’s supervisor will receive a copy of the statement if the employee determines that further action is necessary.
- The employee has three working days to decide whether further action is necessary. If so, the employee has the following options:
- Have the supervisor’s supervisor hear the differences. The supervisor’s supervisor will attempt to resolve the differences by meeting with the employee and supervisor, either together or separately (as appropriate), at a time mutually convenient, but as soon as possible. The supervisor’s supervisor must respond in writing, forwarding the response within five working days to the HR professional responsible for Employee Relations who will send a copy to the employee and a copy to the supervisor. The decision of the supervisor’s supervisor will be final.
- Have a Review Committee hear the differences as soon as possible. The Review Committee will be composed of five members, as follows: two members from the Professional Administrative Executive Council; one member to be chosen by the employee; one member to be chosen by the supervisor; and the fifth member can be the Provost from the respective campus or the Chief Operating Officer.
Members chosen by the employee and supervisor must be members of the Professional and Administrative Staff or Senior Administrative Staff, except where the supervisor is a Vice President, Dean, Chairperson, or Faculty Member. In such a case, the supervisor may choose a committee member from the Professional and Administrative Staff, the Senior Administrative Staff or their own employment group (e.g. a Vice President may choose a Vice President, a Dean may choose a Dean, etc.).
An employee may elect not to appear before the Review Committee but to submit appropriate information for the Committee’s consideration.
The Review Committee
The Human Resource professional responsible for Employee Relations will schedule the Review Committee hearing and ensure that all participants have been notified.
The Human Resource professional responsible for Employee Relations will preside at the meeting following, as appropriate, the format below:
- Introduction of all present.
- Have the employee state the circumstances which brought about the differences along with any other supporting information. If the employee chooses not to attend the meeting with the Review Committee, he/she must submit in writing, to the HR professional responsible for Employee Relations, a statement of the circumstances resulting in the differences. The HR professional responsible for Employee Relations will read this statement to the Committee.
- The supervisor must be present and provide information on the circumstances of the differences.
- The five Review Committee members will have the opportunity to ask questions of the employee (if present) and the supervisor.
- After the employee and supervisor have left, the Review Committee members will discuss the information presented and consult with the HR professional responsible for Employee Relations who will be present to inform the Committee of any policy, administrative, or operational issues that might be involved. The Committee will then prepare a written recommendation of resolution or denial, based on the majority opinion of the Review Committee members.
- The Review Committee will forward its recommendation to the HR professional responsible for Employee Relations within three to five working days after the meeting has taken place.
- The HR professional responsible for Employee Relations will forward the Review Committee’s recommendation, along with a statement of the facts, to the University Director of Human Resources, who will review the recommendation. If the Director concurs, he/she will notify the HR professional responsible for Employee Relations at his/her earliest convenience and the HR professional responsible for Employee Relations will notify the employee, supervisor, the department head (if applicable), and the appropriate Vice President.
- Should the University Director of Human Resources not concur with the Review Committee’s recommendation, the Committee will be so informed and it will reconvene to discuss and prepare another recommendation for submission to the University Director of HR.
The recommendation of the Review Committee, with the concurrence of the University Director of Human Resources, will be final.