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In any workplace, there is a potential for misunderstanding and conflict. In most cases, employees will be able to resolve these differences by talking with the other involved employees and/or talking to their immediate supervisor. Employees are encouraged to promptly discuss any work-related problem or dispute with their supervisors. If the employee is not satisfied with the immediate supervisor’s response or if the employee is uncomfortable going to his/her supervisor with the problem, the employee may choose to follow these dispute resolution procedures.
The following dispute resolution procedures are available to all university staff and faculty not otherwise covered by a collective bargaining agreement. The dispute resolution procedure intends to ensure fair treatment of employees and prompt resolution of disputes. No retaliation or adverse action will be taken against an employee for filing a dispute resolution, regardless of the outcome.
Dispute resolution procedures do not replace Wright State University procedures for filing a discrimination or sexual harassment complaint. Those complaints should be submitted to the Office of Compliance and/or Title IX Coordinator/Equity Investigator utilizing the processes detailed in University Policy 8001 Discrimination and Harassment Based on Protected Class and University Policy 1270 Sex/Gender-Based Harassment, Discrimination, and Sexual Misconduct.
The informal dispute resolution procedure is available to all staff and faculty not otherwise covered by a collective bargaining agreement. This procedure is intended to help an employee resolve any work-related problem.
Level One—Discussion between the Employee and the Immediate Supervisor
Employees are encouraged to discuss any work-related problem with their immediate supervisor at any time. This discussion should take place as early as possible after the conflict or dispute arises. The discussion will be conducted fairly and equitably. If an error has been made, a proper remedy should be made at this step. If the employee believes the issue is too sensitive to discuss with the immediate supervisor, he/she may proceed directly to Level Two.
Level Two—Discussion with the Next Level of Management
A meeting may be requested between the employee and the next level of management or designee within the unit’s organizational structure. This meeting shall be requested in writing and scheduled within ten workdays of the submission of a written request unless an extension is mutually agreed upon. A brief description of the conflict or dispute should be included. A copy of the written request along with the description of the conflict or dispute should be forwarded to Human Resources. The next level manager or designee will confirm the date, time, and location of the meeting.
If the employee desires, a fellow employee may be included in the meeting to assist in explaining the employee’s position. The reviewing manager may also include another administration representative at this meeting. The reviewing manager may seek guidance from the Office of General Counsel or the Chief Human Resources Officer, especially regarding legal and/or policy-related issues. Following the meeting, the reviewing manager will gather any additional information necessary to make a decision, provide the employee with a written explanation or answer, and forward a copy to Human Resources. This answer should normally be given within ten workdays of the meeting.
An employee is encouraged to complete the Informal Dispute Resolution Procedure before proceeding to the Formal Dispute Resolution Procedure. However, if an employee chooses not to use the informal procedure, or if the result was unsatisfactory, the formal procedure is available to all non-probationary, staff, and faculty not otherwise covered by a collective bargaining agreement.
The formal procedure is limited to complaints alleging that a person’s employment has been, or is being, adversely affected by an improper application or interpretation of university rules, regulations, policies, or procedures.
For classified employees, this procedure may also be used to resolve complaints regarding disciplinary suspensions that cannot be appealed to the State of Ohio Personnel Board of Review (SPBR).
For staff and faculty, the formal dispute resolution procedure will not apply to, and may not be used for, the interpretation and application of any group insurance or benefit plans.
Level One—Filing of a Formal Complaint
The employee initiates the formal dispute resolution procedure by submitting a completed Request for Dispute Resolution Form (PDF) to the next level of management, Dean, Director, or Vice President within the unit where the dispute occurred and a forwarding copy to Human Resources. Completed forms must be submitted within ten workdays of the reviewing manager’s report or the date of the event that caused the complaint. Human Resources will maintain a file of dispute resolution requests and responses and will place in individuals’ personnel files only those materials that record agreements reached or changes made as a result of the dispute resolution procedure. The complaint must contain:
- A description of the alleged improper application or interpretation and all pertinent information.
- The specific University rule, regulation, policy, or procedure that has been violated.
- Any materials exchanged during the informal dispute resolution procedure, if applicable.
- A requested resolution.
The next level of management, Dean, Director, Vice President, or designee shall schedule a formal meeting within ten workdays of submission of a request. If the employee desires, a fellow employee may be included in the meeting to assist in explaining the employee’s position. The next level of management, Dean, Director, Vice President, or designee, may also have an additional person present at the meeting. Guidance may be obtained from the Office of General Counsel or the Chief Human Resources Officer, especially concerning the interpretation of legal or university policy issues. A written response will be provided to the employee and a copy forwarded to Human Resources within ten workdays of the meeting.
Level Two—Final Step of the Formal Dispute Resolution Procedure
If the matter has not been satisfactorily resolved at Level One, non-bargaining unit faculty may refer the issue to the Provost for resolution. Non-bargaining unit staff (both Classified and Unclassified) may refer the issue to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) The employee shall submit a written request for reconsideration to the Provost/COO within five workdays of delivery of the response in Level One with a copy forwarded to Human Resources. This request may include additional information or reasons why the decision should be reversed or modified. The Provost/COO may, depending on the complaint and circumstances, designate someone to meet with the parties to gather additional information or to come to a mutually agreeable resolution. The Provost/COO will normally issue a formal response and forward a copy to Human Resources within ten workdays. The decision of the Provost/COO or designee is final.
According to the State of Ohio, civil service laws and regulations classified staff may appeal certain personnel actions to the State Personnel Board of Review (SPBR). Key personnel actions that may be appealed include:
- Results of a position audit or a refusal to perform such a position audit.
- Disciplinary action that includes removal, suspension for more than three days, fine of more than three days pay, or disciplinary reduction in pay or position.
- Retaliatory action was taken against an employee for properly reporting an OSHA violation.
- Layoff, job abolishment, displacement
- Disability separation, denial of reinstatement from a disability separation.
- Transfer or non-disciplinary reduction in pay or position.
Additional information regarding the SPBR appeal process is available from the SPBR at:
65 East State Street, 12th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215