(Approved by USM BOR on April 21, 2017; UMGC President on July 1, 2017)
This policy establishes the employee's right to file a Grievance and applies to University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) Nonexempt and Exempt Staff employees on Regular Status. The policy fully incorporates the requirements of the Education Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland. Nonexempt Staff employees who are included in the representation of the collective bargaining unit are subject to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and applicable UMGC HR Policies; where there is a conflict between the two, the MOU will prevail.
The following terms and definitions shall apply for purposes of this policy:
UMGC recognizes that legitimate disputes and Grievances may exist in the daily relationship between UMGC as an employer and its employees. It is the responsibility of all supervisors, administrators, managers, faculty and employees to establish and maintain a work climate within which an employee dispute or Grievance will be promptly identified, presented, discussed and given fair, timely consideration.
UMGC's management and each employee have an obligation to make every effort to resolve employee relations disputes as they arise.
Each employee utilizing the Grievance process shall have the right to make known a problem or dispute without the fear of coercion or reprisal. During any stage of a Grievance or other administrative or legal action that concerns employment, an employee may not be subjected to coercion, discrimination, interference, reprisal, or restraint by or initiated on behalf of UMGC solely as a result of that employee's pursuit of or participation in a Grievance or other administrative or legal action that concerns UMGC employment.
An employee may not intentionally take or assist in taking an act of coercion, discrimination, interference, reprisal, or restraint against another employee solely as a result of that employee's pursuit of or participation in a Grievance or other administrative or legal action that concerns UMGC employment. An employee who violates the provision of this subsection shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
No decision shall be made at any Step of the Grievance process which conflicts with or modifies any policy or procedures approved by the President or the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland (USM), any applicable statute, or any applicable administrative regulation issued under appropriate statutory authority.
Any party who elects to use this Grievance process for the resolution of a problem shall be presumed to agree to abide by the final disposition arrived at in this Grievance process, and the final disposition shall not be subject to review under any other policy or process within UMGC or USM.
An employee may be represented at every Step in the Grievance process as follows:
At any point in the Grievance process, the employee may elect to obtain, change, or dismiss a representative by providing written notice of name of the employee's representative (Representative) to the decision-maker at the current Step of the Grievance process. An employee may not be represented by more than one individual at any given time during the Grievance process.
If the employee obtains, changes or dismisses the Representative during the course of the Grievance process, the employee will not be permitted to return to a previous Step in the process or otherwise delay the Grievance.
An employee designated as a Representative in any informal or formal stage of the process shall not suffer any loss of pay for investigating, processing or testifying in any Step of the Grievance procedure. If an employee represents him/herself, the employee will not suffer any loss of pay for testifying in any Step of the Grievance procedure but may not use work hours to investigate or process his/her Grievance.
If the dispute is still unresolved or the aggrieved employee is dissatisfied with the decision at Step One, the aggrieved employee and/or Representative may submit an appeal in writing to the President or designee with a copy to the Office of Human Resources within five (5) working days after the employee's receipt of the Department Head's written decision at Step One or, if no decision was issued, within five (5) working days from when the decision was due to be issued. The President or designee shall determine the appropriate forum for the conference based upon the nature of the Grievance as indicated below:
These procedures apply to disputes regarding major personnel actions involving a Suspension, Demotion or Separation from Employment, including Disciplinary Separations and Rejections on Probation. The employee and/or Representative may submit a Grievance, using the Employee Grievance Form signed by the employee with the Office of Human Resources within five (5) working days of the action taken by UMGC, or within five (5) working days of the employee having reasonable knowledge of such action.
The UMGC President has designated the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) to administer this policy; to develop procedures as necessary to implement this policy; to communicate this policy to the UMGC community; and to post the policy and any applicable procedures on the UMGC website.