A. Anne Arundel Community College (“College”) seeks to promote a harmonious working environment by encouraging cooperative, collegial and respectful relationships between and among employees and their supervisors but recognizes that legitimate problems and differences of opinions may arise in the scope of employment.
B. The College establishes this Employee Grievance Policy (“Policy”) to ensure that employee complaints regarding working conditions, disciplinary actions, or alleged violations of policy, procedures, rules, guidelines or regulations receive prompt and careful consideration and are resolved in an equitable, consistent manner.
C. The College has established this Policy and the accompanying Procedures in order to provide an effective means of resolving grievances without the necessity of federal or state remedies; the College recognizes that Employees have the right to file complaints with various federal and state agencies.
II. Scope and Applicability
A. This Policy applies to all College employees, including full-time faculty, staff, administrators, and College officers; part-time faculty, staff, and administrators; contractual employees; and temporary employees.
B. This Policy applies to any grievance that is alleged by a College employee, including Police Officers, as defined below.
C. This Policy does not apply to any grievance that is alleged against a Police Officer, as defined below, as such grievances are subject to the Maryland Police Accountability Act and related Public Safety Protocols, unless the Anne Arundel County Administrative Charging Board or Trial Board does not exercise jurisdiction over the grievance, in which case this Policy will apply.
D. This Policy does not apply to matters set forth in the Exceptions Section.
E. This Policy does not apply to volunteers.
F. To the extent that the College Manual conflicts with this Policy, this Policy supersedes the College Manual.
A. Employee means a person(s) who is currently employed by the College or was employed by the College at the time that the action that is the subject of Grievance occurred.
B. Grievance means a complaint by an Employee(s) regarding working conditions; disciplinary actions, up to and including involuntary terminations; alleged violations of policy, procedures, rules, guidelines, and/or regulations that do not have a specific complaint resolution procedure; interpretation and application of general employment policies, procedures, rules, guidelines, and/or regulations to specific Employees; or work-related disputes between an Employee(s) and the Employee’s supervisor(s).
C. Grievant means the Employee(s) who has filed a Grievance.
D. Mediation is a process in which the Employees involved in a dispute use the assistance of a mediator to identify the disputed issues, develop options, consider alternatives, and endeavor to reach an agreement to resolve the dispute.
E. Mediation Procedure means the Mediation of Employee Grievances Procedure.
F. Police Officer means an individual who has been certified as a police officer by the Maryland Police and Corrections Training Commission, including special police officers, is authorized to enforce the general criminal laws of the State of Maryland, and is employed in the College’s Department of Public Safety and Police as a College Police Officer, except the Chief of Department of Public Safety and Police. Public Safety Officers do not fall within the definition of Police Officer for purposes of this Policy and the accompanying Procedures.
G. Prohibited Action means conduct that violates College policies, procedures, rules, guidelines, regulations, and/or the College Manual; improperly applies employee policies, procedures, rules, or regulations; creates an inappropriate working condition; or improperly disciplines an Employee.
H. Respondent means the College Employee(s) who is alleged in a Grievance to have committed a Prohibited Action.
I. Retaliation means intimidating, threatening, coercing, harassing, causing physical harm, taking unwarranted adverse employment action, or otherwise discriminating against an individual because the individual submits a Grievance or participates in the investigation of or decision about a Grievance, including as a witness or decision maker.
A. Any Employee may file a complaint known as a “Grievance” for any matter that is grievable, including working conditions; disciplinary actions, up to and including involuntary terminations; alleged violations of policy, procedures, rules, guidelines, and/or regulations that do not have a specific complaint resolution procedure; interpretation and application of general employment policies, procedures, rules, and/or regulations to specific Employees; or work-related disputes between an Employee(s) and the Employee’s supervisor(s).
B. Prior to filing a Grievance, an Employee is encouraged to make every effort to resolve complaints informally through a discussion with the Respondent in accordance with the Employee Grievance Procedure.
C. Where informal discussions between the Employee and the Respondent do not resolve the issue, the Employee may request Mediation in accordance with the Mediation Procedure or file a Grievance using the formal grievance process set forth in the Employee Grievance Procedure.
D. The Grievant may withdraw the Grievance at any step of the formal grievance process by submitting a written request in accordance with the Employee Grievance Procedure.
V. Prohibition on Retaliation
A. Retaliation of any kind by any Employee (e.g., academic chair, supervisor, or co-worker) against any other Employee under this Policy or the accompanying Procedures is prohibited.
B. If an Employee believes that the Employee has been the subject of Retaliation, the Employee may include the allegation in the Employee’s Grievance or file a separate Grievance under this Policy and the Employee Grievance Procedure.
A. The following are exempt from this Policy and the Employee Grievance Procedure and are not grievable issues:
1. An Employee’s performance evaluation or the issuance of a performance improvement tool;
2. The content of published policy, procedure, rules, guidelines, and/or regulations of the College;
3. An action terminating an interim or acting position and returning an Employee to the Employee’s previous position;
4. Matters which are subject to determination under any other established complaint resolution or appeal procedure authorized in another College policy or procedure, including but not limited to College policies and procedures regarding Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination, Title IX and Sexual Misconduct, and major sanctions against a tenured or tenure-track faculty member;
5. Decisions regarding the status of an employee during the probationary period and temporary employees (e.g., whether to grant regular status);
7. Non-renewal of a contract for employment;
8. Matters in which the Grievant has no direct interest or that primarily affects another Employee(s);
9. Interpersonal disputes between Employees that does not rise to the level of a violation of College policy, procedure, rules, guidelines, and/or regulations;
10. Compensation and/or benefits;
11. Exempt or nonexempt status under state or federal laws;
12. Conclusions regarding employment background checks;
13. Position classifications, position reclassifications, salary grade level, constituency membership, position qualification standards, establishment and abolition of classifications, and allocation of positions to classifications;
14. Job descriptions;
15. Placement on paid administrative leave;
16. Allegations against a Police Officer; and
17. Matters that arises out of the same facts and circumstances, which have already been the subject of a Grievance.
B. Application of this Policy and the Employee Grievance Procedure may be denied only where the matter presented is not a grievable issue or the matter was not timely filed, in accordance with the Dismissal of Grievance Section of the Employee Grievance Procedure. A matter is grievable if it meets the definition of Grievance and does not fall under the exceptions listed above.
C. While interpersonal disputes between Employees are not grievable and are not subject to the formal grievance process, an Employee may request Mediation in accordance with the Mediation Procedure to obtain assistance resolving interpersonal disputes.
Policy Title: Employee Grievance Policy
Policy Category: Human Resources
Policy Owner: President
Policy Administrator: Executive Director of Human Resources
Contact Information: Suzanne Boyer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 410-777-2045
Approval Date: October 10, 2023
Effective Date: October 16, 2023
History: Previously contained in the College Manual
Applies to: All College employees
Related Policies: N/A