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Policy Title: Non-Classified Employees – Due Process Procedure and Appeals

Boise State University Policy #7310
Effective Date: July 1, 1978
Rev: June 1, 2002
September 2016
March 2017

Purpose:
To establish a due process procedure and appeal for non-classified employees including professional staff and faculty employees.

The Due Process Procedure is designed for use only when disciplinary action is being taken by the University against a non-classified employee (professional staff or faculty employee) during the term of an employment contract. “Disciplinary action” includes dismissal for cause, suspensions without pay and demotions. This process generally requires the University to provide the affected employee with a Notice of Contemplated Action and an opportunity to be heard before making any final decision to impose discipline including dismissal for cause.

The Problem-Solving Process is for professional staff only* to address non-disciplinary matters (job related issues not defined as “disciplinary action” or those alleging illegal discrimination or harassment). It generally requires an employee to meet with his or her immediate supervisor to resolve the matter; file for problem solving if the matter is not resolved; meet with upper-level management; and receive a final decision from the Provost, applicable Vice President, or the President.

Neither the Due Process Procedure nor the Problem Solving Process are applicable to non-renewal of appointment or contract renewal situations.

Additional Authority:
Idaho State Board of Education Policy, Sections II. M and II. L

Responsible Parties:
Vice President for Finance and Administration, 426-1200
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, 426-1202
Human Resources, 426-1616


Policy

  • I. THE DUE PROCESS PROCEDURE
  • A non-classified employee (including professional staff and faculty employees) is entitled to due process before the University makes any decision to impose dismissal for cause, suspension or demotion during the term of an existing employment contract. Due process that requires the employee receive written notice of the disciplinary action being contemplated and an opportunity to be heard before a decision is made. If a non-classified employee needs assistance with this process, the employee should contact Human Resources for assistance.
    • A. Notice:
    • If the University is contemplating disciplinary action, the department must provide notice of the contemplated action to the employee in writing.
      • 1. Notice of the Contemplated Action: For professional staff, the Dean or Department Director will work with Human Resources to develop the written notice and such notice will be given to the employee with a copy of the notice to Human Resources. In the case of faculty, the Provost will work with Human Resources to develop the written notice.
      • 2. Contents of the Notice of Contemplated Action must include:
        • a) Disciplinary action contemplated (i.e., dismissal for cause, suspension without pay or demotion).
        • b) The basis (reason and corresponding legal or policy citation) for this action or reason for this action.
        • c) An explanation of the information or evidence pertinent to the contemplated action.
        • d) The time frames for the response.
    • B. Opportunity to Respond:
    • A non-classified employee who receives a Notice of Contemplated Action is entitled to an opportunity to respond verbally or in writing. The employee’s response shall be the opportunity for the employee to respond to the content of the notice and to present reasons why the contemplated action should not be taken. The employee must respond in writing within the time period indicated in the notice, otherwise the opportunity is deemed waived by the employee. The response, if any, shall be provided by the employee to the Provost/Dean or Department Director who issued the notice with a copy to Human Resources.
      • 1. Time to Respond: The Notice of Contemplated Action shall provide a set time period of no less than five (5) working days within which an employee may respond after the receipt of the notice. The Provost/Dean or Department Director issuing the notice may extend the time period for a response, but in no event may that time period exceed ten (10) working days after the employee has received the notice, unless both the Provost/Dean or Department Director issuing the notice and the employee agree to an extension in writing with a copy to Human Resources.
      • 2. Right to Representation: The employee has the right to be represented by a person of his or her choosing during this procedure and, if applicable, during the Optional Mediation Process. If the employee chooses to be represented, the employee must notify the Provost/Dean or Department Director who issued the notice with a copy to Human Resources.
    • C. University’s Decision:
    • The Provost, Vice-President, or their designee will notify the employee of the decision no later than ten (10) working days after the employee has responded, failed to respond, or otherwise waived his or her right to respond. The University’s decision will be sent or delivered to the employee. Human Resources will coordinate processing of the University’s decision and final action. If a disciplinary action is taken, it may be implemented immediately.
    • D. Post Dismissal Appeal Process:
      • 1. Employee Responsibility: If an employee chooses to appeal the University’s decision to dismiss the employee, a signed and dated Notice of Appeal including a current email address must be submitted by the employee to Human Resources within five (5) working days of the date the employee receives the University’s decision to dismiss the employee.
      • 2. University Responsibility: Upon receipt of the Notice of Appeal, the University will appoint an outside Hearing Officer to consider the appeal. The University will notify the employee of the appointed Hearing Officer at the email address listed on the employee’s Notice of Appeal within seven (7) working days of Human Resources’ receipt of the employee’s Notice of Appeal.
      • 3. Statement of Appeal: Within ten (10) days of the date Human Resources issues the Notification of Appointment of Hearing Officer, the employee shall file with the Hearing Officer the employee’s written Statement of Appeal, together with any supporting documents which the employee wishes to have the Hearing Officer consider. On the same date it is filed with the Hearing Officer, the employee shall submit to Human Resources by email or hand delivery a copy of the written Statement of Appeal together with any supporting documents provided to the Hearing Officer. The University shall then have then ten (10) days to file with the Hearing Officer the University’s written response to the employee’s Statement of Appeal and any supporting documents which the University wishes for the Hearing Officer to consider in support of its response.
      • 4. Final Decision: The Hearing Officer shall then issue to the employee and the University a written Final Decision on Appeal no later than fourteen (14) days after receipt of the University’s response. The Due Process Procedure is completed when the Hearing Officer issues the Final Decision to the parties.
    • E. Optional Mediation Process:
    • The Provost/Dean or Department Director and the employee may mutually agree to engage in mediation after notice of contemplated action has been sent during the Due Process Procedure. If both sides agree in writing to mediation, the time limits for the opportunity to respond and the University’s decision will be suspended pending mediation. Mediation is not possible unless both the Provost/Dean, Department Director or supervisor and the employee agree. Human Resources shall assist in identifying a mediator and coordinating this process.
  • II. THE INFORMAL PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS (FOR PROFESSIONAL STAFF ONLY)*
  • A. Problem Solving Process:
    • 1. Professional Staff employees are eligible to file under the Problem Solving Process during the term of an employment contract. Any job related matters may be handled through the Problem Solving Process with the exception of the following: (1) compensation, except as it applies to alleged inequities within a particular department; (2) non-renewal; (3) allegations of illegal discrimination or of an ongoing pattern of harassment; and (4) the matters set forth in the Due Process Procedure (dismissal for cause, demotions or suspensions without pay).
    • 2. The Problem-Solving Process is a chain-of-command process which includes the following steps: (1) meeting with the immediate supervisor; (2) filing for problem-solving; (3) meeting with the Dean or Department Director; and (4) receiving a final decision from the Provost or Vice-President. Problem-Solving Request forms are available from Human Resources. If an employee fails to meet any time limits of the Problem-Solving Procedure, the problem will be considered resolved unless an extension is agreed upon in writing by both sides and a copy is sent to Human Resources.
    • 3. The employee is entitled to be represented by a person of the employee’s choosing at each step of the Problem-Solving Process (including the Optional Mediation Step), except during the initial informal discussion with the immediate supervisor.
  • B. Meeting with Immediate Supervisor:
    • 1. Before actually filing for Problem-Solving, an eligible professional staff employee must first make a reasonable attempt to meet with and resolve the matters with the employee’s immediate supervisor. Representatives are not permitted at the informal meeting with the immediate supervisor.
    • 2. Professional staff and supervisors are strongly encouraged to engage in an informal Problem-Solving meeting in order to identify the precise matters at issue, discuss ways to resolve the matters and hopefully resolve the matters at the lowest level possible.
    • 3. If a meeting with the immediate supervisor did not result in resolution of the problem, professional staff may then file for Problem-Solving.
  • C. Filing for Problem-Solving:
    • 1. Eligible professional staff are required to file for Problem-Solving in writing no later than five (5) working days after being notified or becoming aware of any matter which may be handled through the Problem-Solving Process. The time limit for filing shall be extended due to an employee’s illness or other approved leave.
    • 2. Professional staff must file the Problem-Solving Request Form with the professional staff’s immediate supervisor with copies of the form submitted to the Dean or Department Director and to Human Resources. The department may, at its sole discretion, accept a late filing.
  • D. Meeting with the Dean or Department Director:
    • 1. Professional staff will meet with the Dean or Department Director no later than five (5) working days after filing for Problem-Solving. The Dean or Department Director will consult with the professional staff’s immediate supervisor to determine who may be best able to resolve the problem in this meeting with the employee. The Dean or Department Director may also take into account the employee’s preference in deciding who should be present. Since the goal of this procedure is to resolve problems at the lowest level possible, the meeting may involve the employee’s immediate supervisor and any additional people who may be helpful in resolving the issues. The Dean or Department Director is responsible for scheduling the meeting.
    • 2. The professional staff shall receive a written suggested solution from the Dean or Department Director no later than five (5) working days after the meeting. A copy of the suggested solution will be sent to Human Resources and the immediate supervisor.
    • 3. If the professional staff is not satisfied with the recommended solution, the professional staff may request in writing a review by the Provost or Vice-President no later than three (3) working days after receiving the Dean or Department Director’s suggested solution. To request a review the professional staff shall file the written request on the Problem-Solving Request Form with Human Resources with a copy to the Dean or Department Director who issued the suggested solution.
  • E. Problem Solving Decision:
  • The Provost or Vice President or designee may consult with the professional staff, immediate supervisor, Dean or Department Director, and any others who participated in the Problem-Solving procedure in order to determine how best to resolve the issue. The employee will receive a final decision from the Provost/Vice-President or designee no later than ten (10) working days after a request for review is submitted, or a meeting is held as determined by the Provost, Vice President or designee, whichever is later. A copy will be sent to Human Resources.
  • F. Optional Mediation Step:
  • The department and professional staff may mutually agree in writing to engage in mediation during the Problem-Solving Process. If both sides agree in writing, the other steps and time limitations (except for the initial five (5) working day filing requirement) of the Problem-Solving Process will suspend pending mediation. The department and employee must agree upon a mediator. Human Resources shall assist with providing mediator names and coordinating this process. Mediation is not possible unless both the department and employee agree.
  • G. No Retaliation:
  • No employee shall be retaliated against for utilizing the Problem Solving Process or for serving as a witness or representative in a Problem Solving Process. Any such retaliation is expressly prohibited and may constitute grounds for discipline, up to and including dismissal, against the employee conducting the retaliation.

* Faculty may refer to the Faculty Grievance Policy #4480 for more details on how to explore employment related matters not related to the Due Process Procedure as outlined in this policy.