Resolution of an Employee Grievance

Administrative Rule
Council: Administrative Services Council
Effective date: 09/20/23
Guideline/Procedure: 4.0702.01.1

Value Statement

The Austin Community College District (“ACC” or “the College”) values collegial employee relations and harmonious working conditions.

Specifically, ACC’s Core Values articulate:

  1. Open, honest, and respectful communication, collaboration, and teamwork in all of our operations.
  2. Creation and maintenance of a sustainable, safe, and healthy environment for students and employees.
  3. A culture of collaboration, connection, and caring.

Administrative Rule 

ACC will provide a process to fairly and promptly resolve workplace concerns.

  1. Workplace concerns that relate to discrimination or harassment based on a protected class, including sex and gender-based discrimination are addressed by the Office of Equal Opportunity Compliance pursuant to Administrative Rule (AR) 4.0901.01: Employee Freedom from Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation, and AR 6.0100.01: Prohibition of Sexual Misconduct. Complaints concerning commissioned peace officers employed by the College should be filed in accordance with Board Policy CHA (LEGAL) and ACCPD General Orders.
    Any complaints or allegations that fall under other College policies or rules will be dismissed in writing from the grievance process by the Employee Relations Officer (ERO) and responded to through the appropriate policy or rule.
  2. Employees are encouraged to resolve workplace concerns informally with relevant parties by addressing them directly and professionally. The Office of the Ombudsperson is a confidential, neutral, and informal resource that is available to assist or provide guidance. Utilizing the Office of the Ombudsmen does not extend formal grievance deadlines.
  3. Any employee who chooses not to seek an informal resolution or is not satisfied with the results of an informal resolution, may file a “grievance[1].” A grievance is a formal request to resolve a workplace concern that does not involve an allegation of discrimination based on a protected class. The ERO will facilitate the resolution of grievances.
  4. A grievance must be filed within 15 College business days of the decision or action giving rise to the grievance, or within 15 College business days of the most recent of a series of decisions or actions giving rise to the grievance. Incidents that are outside of the grievance deadlines and are not related to a recent incident may be dismissed from the grievance process as untimely. The ERO has the discretion to assess the timeliness of the subject matter of grievances and dismiss matters that are untimely.
  5. Mediation to resolve a grievance may be requested by the ERO or the parties at any time during the grievance process and will be employed if agreed to by all relevant parties. If mediation is employed, the grievance process will temporarily halt. If no resolution is reached through mediation, the grievance process will continue. The mediation process is confidential.
  6. A Representative means any person who, or an organization that, does not claim the right to strike and is designated by the employee to represent them in the grievance process.
    The employee may designate a representative through written notice to the College at any level of this process. If the employee designates a representative with fewer than three days’ notice to the College before a scheduled conference or hearing, the College District may reschedule the conference or hearing to a later date, if desired, in order to include the College’s counsel.
  1. Federal and state laws have prohibitions against retaliation in the employment and education environment. No employee will suffer retaliation or reprisal for raising a workplace concern, filing, pursuing, or participating in a grievance process at the College. (See AR 4.0901.01)

Responsibilities of Employee Relations Officer

  1. The ERO will manage and facilitate grievances as described in this AR and its related Guidelines/Procedures.
  2. The ERO is responsible for coordinating decisions and recommendations and may consult with relevant ACC offices in accordance with College policies and procedures to assist in resolution of a grievance and compliance with grievance procedures.
  3. The ERO will provide supervisors with training and support for the grievance process. Grievances are first addressed directly by the supervisor or lowest level administrator with the authority to remedy the grievance, with support from the ERO, as needed.

[1] The terms “complaint” and “grievance” have the same meaning.

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