5.07 Grievance Procedure

Effective Date: April 1, 2010 (revised)


Trinity College is committed to fair and consistent application of policies across the institution, and believes that employee concerns regarding the application of policies are best and most effectively dealt with in an employee’s work-group or department. However, in those instances when resolution of an employee concern is not achieved at that level, this Grievance Procedure provides a more formal mechanism for addressing the employee’s concerns.


Definition of Grievance

A grievance may be filed related to work problems or conditions which an employee believes to be unfair, inequitable, discriminatory, or a hindrance to the effective fulfillment of responsibilities. Specifically, grievances which may be addressed are:

An employee who has a complaint relating to sexual, racial, ethic, or other harassment should refer to 3.03 Discrimination and Harassment Policy.

The following matters are not subject to the Grievance Procedure. Employees affected by or concerned about such matters are, however, encouraged to discuss their concerns with the Director of Human Resources:

In the event there is a question as to whether a particular matter is subject to the formal grievance procedure, the determination will be made by the Director of Human Resources in conjunction with the Vice President for Finance & Operations and Treasurer.

Issues that have been presented to any court or external agency are also prohibited from the Grievance Procedure in order to avoid possible conflict. If at any point during the process the College becomes aware of such action, the grievance procedure immediately will cease without a finding.

Informal Grievance Stage

An employee with a grievance (a “Grievant”) should first bring the issue to the attention of his/her supervisor. Supervisors are expected to engage in open discussion, to be responsive to the Grievant’s felt needs, and to make a sincere and earnest effort to mediate an expressed grievance.

The College recognizes that in certain situations an employee may feel reluctant to express dissatisfaction to a supervisor. In these circumstances, employees are advised to consult with the Director of Human Resources or the College Ombudsperson. Once a complaint has been registered either with the Director of Human Resources or the Ombudsperson, the designated administrator may wish to converse with the person complained against in order to determine the facts from that individual’s perspective. If appropriate and if possible this should be accomplished without divulging the complainant’s name. If the person complained against has inadvertently violated College policy, the complaint will be satisfied by clarification of the policy and an agreement that the violation will cease.

If a conflict cannot be resolved through informal discussions, an employee may use the formal grievance procedure; however reference to specific violations of College policy or practice, state or federal regulations must be cited in writing at this stage by the employee in order for the grievance to be considered valid. The Director of Human Resources serves as facilitator for the formal process and, when circumstances warrant, may allow reasonable extensions at the Step Two, Three or Four stages. Such extensions may be for compelling, unavoidable reasons only.

Formal Grievance Stage

Step One:

Step Two:

Step Three:

Presidential Review

The President of the College reserves the right to review any decision at any level of the grievance procedure with respect to its impact on institutional policies or federal and state laws governing College actions, and, in unusual cases or under extraordinary circumstances, to modify or rescind any such decision.

No employee shall be subject to adverse treatment due to participation in the Grievance Procedure.

See the following policies for additional relevant information:

3.03 Discrimination and Harassment 25

5.06 Ombudsperson 112