Staff Grievance Policy




Procedure Number: Version Number: 2
Classification: Effective Date: 8/10/20012
Responsible University Official: Vice President Human Resources


Saint Louis University, through its open door policy, encourages staff employees and supervisors to have informal communications to facilitate fair, effective and efficient solutions for problems arising out of the employment relationship. Whenever a staff employee feels that his or her concerns are not being adequately addressed, the University provides a formal communication process to allow higher levels of management to resolve issues and provide guidance for both the staff employee and the supervisor.


This policy establishes guidelines for filing a grievance when complaints regarding workplace issues covered in this policy arise.

The covered complaint(s) of all Saint Louis University staff employees will be addressed according to this policy. A staff member who believes that a particular action was the result of unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation may consult with the University's Director of Diversity and Affirmative Action about his or her right to file a complaint under the University's Equal Employment Opportunities policy, even if the staff member is in their orientation period. Employees of the Madrid Campus and those employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement are excluded from this policy.


Complainant - A person who submits a grievance under this policy.
Informal Grievance - The discussion of a problem as outlined in section 7.0 of this policy.
Formal Grievance - The signed document containing the elements listed in section 7.0 of this policy.


This policy establishes a process for staff employees to review complaints with their supervisors and management relating to compensation, hours of work, working conditions, job assignments, written warnings, performance evaluations and the interpretation or application of a rule, regulation or policy. Grievances involving compensation shall be limited to disciplinary actions that result in a reduction of the employee's base salary.

Any person who knowingly and intentionally files a false complaint under this policy is subject to corrective action up to and including discharge from the University.

A student, faculty, or staff member who retaliates in any way against an individual who has brought a grievance pursuant to this policy or who has participated in good faith in preparing, presenting or investigating a grievance, is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the University.


All employees are expected to comply with the requirements of this policy for filing grievances and appeals. The designated University manager shall be responsible for reviewing and responding to grievances and appeals within the designated time frame and effectively administering this policy. Managers may consult with Human Resources and the other units as needed regarding particular grievances and applicable University policies or practices.


7.1 Informal Grievance
The employee should initially attempt to resolve a complaint informally and present the matter to his or her supervisor for discussion, consideration, and resolution within five (5) working days from the date of the action which is the subject of the complaint. The supervisor will meet with the employee within five (5) working days of receiving the complaint to attempt to work out a mutually satisfactory resolution results of the informal grievance should be documented.

7.2 Formal Grievance
Step A: If the supervisor's resolution is not satisfactory, the employee may present a formal grievance in writing to the appropriate department head for consideration and action within five (5) working days of the supervisor's decision.

The written grievance must contain the following information:
  • name of the Complainant(s);
  • contact information, including address, telephone, e-mail;
  • name of person(s) directly involved in the complaint;
  • nature of the grievance, including relevant dates;
  • copies of any documents pertaining to the complaint;
  • names of any witnesses;
  • summary of the results of the informal process;
  • requested resolution action(s) preferred by Complainant;
  • Complainant's signature and date of filing;
  • and any other relevant information.
The following communications do not constitute a formal grievance and will not be investigated or resolved pursuant to this process: oral allegations, e-mail correspondence, anonymous communications, courtesy copies of correspondence or a complaint filed with others; inquiries that seek advice or information only, pre-grievance consultations and informal resolution activities.

The department head will review the written grievance and mail a written decision to the employee within five (5) working days of receipt of the written grievance.

Step B: If the employee is not satisfied with the decision of the department head, a letter stating why the Step A decision is unsatisfactory may be sent to the appropriate dean or administrative equivalent within five (5) working days of the date of the Step B notice. Within ten (10) working days, the dean, or administrative equivalent will review the department head's Step A decision and issue a written report: a) granting or denying the employee's requested resolution, or b) proposing an alternative resolution.

Step C: If the employee is not satisfied with the decision of the dean or administrative equivalent, a letter stating why the Step B decision is unsatisfactory may be sent to the appropriate vice president responsible for the employee's department within five (5) working days of the date of the Step B notice. Within ten (10) working days following receipt of the letter, the vice president will review the Step B decision and mail his or her decision to the employee. The vice president's decision is final and concludes the grievance process.

In instances where the University manager or administrator designated to review a grievance is the subject of the underlying complaint, the employee may initiate the grievance with the person designated as the next level of review in the process outlined above. Employees should file any grievance involving the actions of a Vice President or the President with the Vice President for Human Resources. Grievances involving the actions of the Vice President for Human Resources should be submitted to the President.

The written complaint and all decisions or responses regarding such complaint shall be a part of the official employment file of the employee. The filing of a grievance will not stop or delay any evaluation or corrective action related to the Complainant who is not performing up to acceptable standards or who has violated University rules or policies.

Time frames mentioned in these procedures may be extended for good cause, such as holidays or when classes are not in session, or when it is necessary to complete an investigation due to difficulties reaching witnesses or parties to the grievance.


The confidentiality of a grievance under this policy and all documents, correspondence, interviews and discussions relating to the investigation of the grievance will be maintained on a need to know basis to the extent permitted by law and policy. Any person who knowingly and intentionally makes an unauthorized disclosure of confidential information contained in a grievance is subject to corrective action.


Staff Performance Management Policy
Staff Peer Review Policy
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
Harassment Policy
Open Door Policy


This policy was reviewed by the Executive Staff and the President's Coordinating Council.

This Policy Has Been Approved By:
Lawrence Biondi, S.J.
Saint Louis University