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Grievance Procedures

The following is a brief summary of the University grievance policy and procedures. This summary does not cover or address all aspects of the grievance or appeal rights that an employee may have. Detail regarding grievance appeals or procedures are found in the University policy, HR1.42, Grievance. All questions regarding grievance appeals or procedures should be directed to the Employee Relations Director.

Employees have a right to receive a fair review of employment-related complaints in accordance with state law and regulations of the State Office of Human Resources. Adverse employment actions that may be grieved or appealed are terminations, suspensions, involuntary reassignments, and demotions. For a complete listing of grievable and non-grievable actions refer to the University policy, HR1.42, Grievance.

All employees considering filing a grievance are encouraged to contact the Employee Relations Director for procedural advice and assistance. The grievance appeal process involves strict time limits. An employee must initiate an appeal in writing with the University within 14 calendar days of the effective date of the employment action.

All grievance appeals filed in the grievance review process must be in writing. There are three steps in the internal grievance process that involve various reviewing officials as follows:

  • The Step 1 reviewing official is the chair or director of the grieving employee’s department, or the employee’s immediate supervisor if the grieving employee is a department director. For regional campuses, the dean is the Step 1 official.
  • The Step 2 reviewing official is a University vice president or chancellor, or other employee in the supervisory chain of authority reporting directly to the president.
  • The Step 3 reviewing official is the president of the University of South Carolina with the assistance of a Board of Review.

In the event an employee decides to file a grievance appeal, the review process requires that both the employee and the reviewing official adhere to specific time frames.

Step 1
Filing a Step 1 appeal is the beginning point at which the grievance comes under formal consideration. The grievance must state what is being grieved, what relief is being sought and include any efforts at informal resolution.

The reviewing official will consider and answer the grievance in writing not later than seven calendar days following the receipt. If the employee is not satisfied with the decision they have three calendar days to continue the grievance appeal to Step 2.

Step 2
The grievance must be made in writing and the initial grievance and responses must be attached.

The Step 2 official will review the facts and may consult with the parties involved. The Step 2 official will consider and answer not later than seven calendar days following the receipt of the written grievance. If the employee is not satisfied with the decision they have three calendar days to continue the grievance appeal the president of the University.

Step 3
At this step, the grievance process provides for the University president to appoint an impartial Board of Review to conduct a review of the grievance. The Board of Review has 20 days to hear the grievance and advise the president. The Board of Review is composed of five employees. The chair of the Board of Review will take whatever action is necessary to ensure an equitable, orderly and expeditious review.

The president may accept the recommendation of the Board of Review in whole or in part, may reject the Board’s recommendation or may call in the parties separately or together for further discussion. The President will notify both parties of the final decision within five calendar days of the conclusion of deliberations by the Board of Review.

The Division of Human Resources will provide procedural information to both parties and to members of the board and serves in a non-voting advisory capacity to the Board of Review.

For detailed information, refer to HR1.42, Grievance.

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