Initially approved July 9, 2001
Administering Office: Human Resources
These procedures are to be used for considering the complaints of SPA employees regarding their overall performance approval rating, the amount of any performance increase, or failure to receive a performance increase. For these purposes only, these procedures are to be utilized instead of the Grievance Policy and Procedure for SPA Employees. In accordance with North Carolina law, the decision of the Chancellor under these procedures is final.
A. Discussion with Immediate Supervisor
An employee wishing to initiate a complaint must file the complaint in writing to his or her immediate supervisor within fifteen (15) calendar days of the date of receipt of the action being disputed. If the complaint is not filed within the allowed time period, the matter is no longer appealable and the act, which was the subject of the potential complaint, shall be presumed valid and proper when considering any subsequent complaint or grievance. The immediate supervisor shall notify the departmental supervisor that a complaint has been filed.
The immediate supervisor shall discuss the complaint with the employee, as soon as practicable. The immediate supervisor may consult with higher level supervisors prior to and after the discussion and may call such supervisors into the discussion if the employee agrees to such. The employee may have a co-worker be present in the meeting to lend personal support to the employee.
As soon as practicable after the discussion with the employee, the immediate supervisor shall deliver a written decision to the employee.
B. Appeal to the Performance Review Committee
An employee who is not satisfied with the supervisor's decision may appeal the matter to the Performance Review Committee by filing a request in writing within five working days after receipt of the supervisor's decision. The request shall be filed with the Office of Human Resources. The request for appeal shall contain a written summary of the facts, which are said to support the complaint. If the employee so desires, he/she may ask the Director of Human Resources for help in preparing the request and the written summary of facts.
Upon receipt of the appeal, the Director of Human Resources shall form a Performance Review Committee. The committee will consist of five persons selected by the Director of Human Resources from the pool of twenty-five designees established at the beginning of each academic year pursuant to the Grievance Policy and Procedures for SPA Employees. The Director of Human Resources shall ensure that the committee includes at least three non-supervisory SPA employees. No person will be selected to be a committee member if employed within the same department as the complaining employee. The Director of Human Resources shall preside as non-voting chair over the hearing.
The chair shall notify the employee in writing of the composition of the committee and the date, time, and location of the hearing. The chair shall also instruct the employee to identify his/her witnesses, if any, in a timely fashion and, in any event, no later than five working days before the hearing. The chair has the authority to limit the number of witnesses scheduled to attend the hearing if it is determined that the proposed witnesses will present unduly repetitive or unnecessarily cumulative evidence. The chair shall coordinate with the witnesses for them to appear at the hearing.
The employee may disqualify up to two of the committee members designated to serve on the hearing. Written notice of disqualification must be delivered to the chair in a timely fashion and, in any event, no later than five working days before the hearing. The Director of Human Resources shall choose the replacement member(s) from the pool of twenty-five.
The employee shall have the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the decision at issue was unfair in that it was either not made in accordance with applicable policies, procedure or law; or that it was not the product of an exercise of reasonable professional judgement by the deciding supervisor.
Formal rules of evidence shall not apply; however, the chair has the authority to reject evidence, which is repetitive or has no relevance to the case. The employee shall be allowed to appear in person before the committee; however, the employee may choose not to appear and instead have the matter reviewed on the basis of the documentation provided. The employee or supervisor may not confront or cross-examine each other or other witnesses unless the chair requests that they do so. The employee and supervisor may not remain in the room throughout the proceedings unless the chair requires their presence. The hearing will be private. The employee may be accompanied by a co-worker for personal support. Neither side may be represented by an attorney at the hearing.
Presentation of evidence: The employee, if he/she attends, presents, through documentation or testimony, the basis for the complaint. The supervisor may then present documentation or testimony in response. Rebuttal or additional evidence may be allowed or requested by the chair. Committee members may ask questions of anyone presenting evidence during the hearing.
Following the presentation of evidence, the committee shall meet in closed session to consider the complaint and make a written recommendation, consistent with the evidence received, to the Chancellor. The recommendation shall be determined by majority vote and should be forwarded in writing as soon as practicable to the Chancellor. The decision is not binding upon the Chancellor and is only advisory. The Chancellor shall inform in writing the employee, the supervisor, the appropriate vice chancellor, and the Director of Human Resources of his/her decision in a timely fashion. If the Chancellor does not accept the recommendation of the committee, he shall state in writing his reasons for such rejection. The Chancellor's decision is final and is not appealable.