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Policy 4.64
Procedure for Handling Complaints & Grievances Not Involving Discrimin

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Responsible Official: VP for Human Resources
Administering Division/Department: Employee Relations
Effective Date: March 30, 2007
Last Revision: June 20, 2007

Policy Sections:


Emory places great importance on promoting and maintaining a climate of open communication and mutual trust between employees and leadership. Emory has established a grievance procedure to provide timely resolution of employee problems, misunderstandings and complaints while providing sufficient time for fact finding and clarification. However, employees are encouraged to seek informal resolution of their concerns and work-related problems through their departmental management before filing a formal grievance. No employee will be reprimanded, harassed, or retaliated against for utilizing the grievance procedure.


All active regular and temporary employees.

Policy Details


There will be no personal representation of the employee at any stage of this grievance procedure. Employees may, at their own expense, submit written material or other evidence. Failure of management to meet the time limits shall move the grievance to the next step of the procedure. Failure on the part of the employee to meet established time limits at each step of the procedure will result in termination of the grievance. However, time limits may be extended by mutual agreement.


First Step
An employee who has a complaint shall first discuss the matter with his/her supervisor. Employees are encouraged to seek immediate resolution of their concerns through the ranks of their departmental management. Employees and departmental management also may seek assistance from Human Resources.

Second Step
If the issue cannot be resolved within the department, the employee must file the complaint in writing on a Grievance Form at Human Resources within 30 calendar days of the occurrence. Human Resources shall review the complaint and make a determination on its grievability.

If the complaint is grievable, Human Resources will forward the grievance within five working days to the appropriate party:

  • in academic departments, the appropriate party is the chair of the department;
  • in administrative departments, the appropriate party is the department director in the employee's organizational unit;
  • if the grievance involves the chair or department director, the grievance will be processed by his/her immediate supervisor.

The chair or administrator (or designee) must meet with the employee to discuss issues and concerns, and provide the employee with a written response addressing each of the issues/concerns raised within 15 working days of receiving the written information from Human Resources.

Human Resources is available to facilitate the review of the grievance.

Third Step
In the event the grievance is not resolved to the satisfaction of the employee, the employee has 15 working days after receiving the response to move to step three. The employee shall submit to Human Resources a copy of the original grievance form, a copy of the department's written response, and a statement of the unresolved issues. Human Resources shall forward the information to the next senior level within the employee's organization for review. The senior official (or designee) shall review the facts, meet with the employee and other witnesses if appropriate, and provide a written response to the employee within 15 working days of receiving the written information from Human Resources.

Fourth Step
If the grievance is not resolved at step three, the employee may submit a request for a panel hearing, in accordance with written procedures which may be revised from time to time, to Human Resources within 15 working days. Within 15 working days of receiving written notification, Human Resources will convene a five-member panel. The panel is responsible for reviewing the facts of the grievance, presenting its findings and recommending an appropriate resolution based solely on Emory policies and procedures. The panel’s findings and recommendation(s) will be submitted to the executive vice president, executive vice president for Health Affairs, executive vice president for Academic Affairs, or president (as applicable to the employee’s organizational line) within 5 working days of the completion of the hearing. The applicable executive vice president or president (or designee) will have 15 working days to accept or modify the panel’s recommendations, and notify the employee, the department, hearing panel and other appropriate parties of the decision in writing. This decision will be final and binding.

The time periods set forth may be extended in appropriate circumstances.



An alleged violation, misinterpretation or inequitable application of policy or procedure may be grievable. Employees must file grievances with Human Resources within 30 calendar days of the occurrence.

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