How To File a Grievance or Complaint
Cornell's procedure for resolution of disputes that sometimes arise between supervisors and staff.
What To Know
- The complaint and grievance policy applies to all regular full-time and part-time, exempt and nonexempt, nonacademic Cornell University staff except
- members of a collective bargaining unit
- unclassified employees
- employees in Puerto Rico or the Cornell University Medical College
- Use this procedure to review an alleged violation or misapplication of university policies or rules pertaining to employment, or laws or regulations which directly and adversely affect a staff member.
- A grievance must be filed within 10 working days of a complaint's occurrence or within ten working days of the date the staff member had reason to know of the occurrence.
- IMPORTANT: Read the complete Staff Complaint & Grievance Procedure policy
What To Do
Attempt Informal Resolution
If you're experiencing an issue at work, first try contacting:
- your supervisor
- your HR representative
- a consultant from the Office of Workforce Policy and Labor Relations
- the Office of the University Ombuds (confidential, independent, impartial, informal resource available to students, staff, and faculty to address conflicts, concerns, or other issues at Cornell)
- the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (matters of health and safety issues)
- the Office of Institutional Equity and Title IX (sexual harassment or misconduct)
- the Department of Inclusion & Belonging (prohibited discrimination or bias)
Submit Written Grievance to Department Head
- The grievance must be in writing, signed by the staff member, and submitted to the department head within ten working days of the occurrence which gave rise to the grievance, or within ten working days of the date the staff member had reason to know of the occurrence.
- The written grievance should:
- identify the policy or rule which is alleged to have been violated
- contain a concise statement of the facts surrounding the grievance
- should contain the remedy sought
What To Expect
- Meeting: Within 5 working days from receipt of the written grievance, the department head or their representative will schedule a meeting with the staff member, the staff member's representative, the immediate supervisor, and any other individuals the department head determines will assist in resolution of the problem. This meeting will be scheduled within 15 working days from receipt of the written grievance.
- Answer: The department head or their representative will provide the staff member with a written answer within 5 working days after the completion of this meeting and forward a copy of the grievance and answer to the local HR representative or designee.
If the grievance is not resolved at Step One:
- Appeal with WPLR: The grievant may file a written appeal with Workforce Policy and Labor Relations within 5 working days of receipt of the answer in Step One.
- Meeting: The director of WPLR or another designee by the Vice President for Human Resources will schedule a meeting with the parties involved within 5 working days of receipt of the written appeal. The meeting will be held within 15 working days from receipt of the written appeal.
- Decision: The director of WPLR will provide a written decision within 10 working days from the meeting, which will be final and not subject to review or further appeal, except for special circumstances (see policy for details regarding special appeals or arbitration).