790.2 Problem Solving and Appeals

P-790.2 The College is committed to providing prompt and appropriate resolution to concerns of individual staff members. Staff members are encouraged to use the problem solving process when informal resolution attempts, such as discussion with departmental supervisory staff, have not been successful.
Pr-790.2.1 A staff member may use the problem solving procedures when they believe there has been a violation, misinterpretation, misapplication, or unreasonable application of a College policy, procedure, rule, or regulation regarding that individual’s employment conditions.
Pr-790.2.2 Appeal Process for Concerns of Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, or Sexual Violence

A staff member may appeal the determination of and disciplinary action imposed as a result of a discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, or sexual violence investigation by filing an appeal in writing within 15 calendar days of notification of the decision to the President. In cases of sexual harassment or sexual violence, both the reporting party and the responding party have the right to appeal the outcome of the investigation/disciplinary procedures. The appeal must cite at least one of the following criteria as the reason for appeal and provide supporting arguments. The President will determine if the appeal meets the criteria.
  1. The investigation/disciplinary procedures were not conducted in conformity with prescribed procedures.
  2. The information relied on as part of the investigation/disciplinary procedures was not 'sufficient' to justify the decision.
  3. Information, which was not withheld by the staff member and which could have substantially affected the outcome of the investigation/disciplinary procedures, has since been discovered.
  4. The disciplinary action was disproportionate for the violation.
Status during appeal: The disciplinary action rendered is in effect during the period of appeal.

If the President determines that criteria for an appeal listed above have not been met, the previous determination stands. If the President determines that the criteria has been met for an appeal, the President will then review the information gathered as part of the investigation/disciplinary procedures, including any documentary evidence.

It is within the President's discretion to reverse the finding regarding whether the staff member is responsible/not responsible, return the matter to the Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Title IX Coordinator for review and/or reconsideration on whether the staff member is responsible/not responsible, convert any disciplinary action imposed to an alternate disciplinary action, rescind any previous disciplinary action, return a recommended disciplinary action to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator for review and/or reconsideration, or uphold the outcome of the investigation/disciplinary procedures.

The final decision on the appeal will be communicated to the staff member in writing by the President, with a copy sent to appropriate College officials. The decision of the President is final.

If the investigation/disciplinary procedures and the appeal result from a report of discrimination, harassment, or sexual harassment, the reporting party will also be notified in writing of the result of the appeal and any changes in the disciplinary action imposed if the disciplinary action directly relates to the reporting party (e.g., an order that the employee stay away from the reporting party).

If the investigation/disciplinary procedures and appeal result from a report of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense (as defined in 34 C.F.R. § 99.39), the reporting party and the responding party will be notified of the result of the appeal and any changes in the disciplinary action imposed. If the alleged victim is deceased as a result of the crime or offense, the disclosure may be requested by the next of kin of the alleged victim.
Pr-790.2.3 Appeal Process for Concerns Not Related to Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, or Sexual Violence

Staff members are encouraged to discuss the concern with their supervisor. If the concern is not resolved, the staff member may choose to follow the following problem-solving steps:

Within fifteen [15] days after the occurrence of the concern or problem, the staff member will present the problem in writing to the department supervisor or manager.

Within five [5] days after receipt of the written notice, the supervisor or manager will hold a conference with the staff member.

Within five [5] days following the conference, the supervisor or manager will conduct any investigation that may be necessary and provide a written response to the staff member.

In the event the staff member is not satisfied with the response, he or she may appeal the response in writing to the division Vice President and Vice President for Human Resources within five [5] days following receipt of the supervisor’s or manager’s response. With this appeal the staff member will include a copy of the original notice of concern as well as any replies received.

Within five [5] days after receipt of the appeal, the Vice President for Human Resources will hold a conference with the staff member.

Within five [5] days following the conference, the Vice President for Human Resources will conduct any further investigation that may be necessary and provide a written response to the staff member.

In the event the staff member is not satisfied with the response, the staff member may appeal the response in writing to the College President within five [5] days following receipt of the Vice Presidents' response. With this appeal the staff member will include a copy of the original notice of the concern and all replies.

Within five [5] days after receipt of the notice of the problem, the President will examine the record of the concern, conduct any investigation necessary, and either hold a conference with the staff member or issue a decision after reviewing the information provided. The President’s decision will be final.
Pr-790.2.4 If the staff member does not appeal a decision at any step within the specified time frame, the problem solving process will be considered terminated by consent of the staff member.
Pr-790.2.5 No adverse action will be taken by the College toward a staff member for use of the problem solving process. However, disciplinary action may be taken by the College toward the staff member for knowingly making untrue or misleading statements in connection with the problem solving process, or for knowingly making an untrue or unfounded claim.
Pr-790.2.6 A request for use of the problem solving process may be withdrawn in writing at any time.
Pr-790.2.7 Consideration will be given to the staff member’s work schedule when scheduling problem solving conferences.
Pr-790.2.8 A copy of the problem solving request, written responses, and appeals at each step will be forwarded to the Vice President for Human Resources who will maintain all problem solving records.
Pr-790.2.9 All documents, communications, and records pertaining to a problem solving process will be maintained in a file separate from the staff member’s personnel file.
D-790.2.1 Day: A “day” means a calendar day except a Saturday, Sunday, and approved holidays or paid time off.
Policy Code Key
P Policy PR Procedure D Definition S Supplement

Content Owner: Donna Davis – ddavis@stchas.edu
Page Updated by: Julie Parcel
Date Issued:
Date Revised:03/01/06, 02/18/2013, 07/07/15