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Conflict and Dispute Resolution

Conflict Resolution is about resolving problems and conflicts in the workplace before the escalate to a disruption.  Below are some resources and information, and strategies to help managers and employees resolve conflict.  Workplace conflicts can arise for a variety of reasons from a simple misunderstanding to interpersonal problems to serious conflicts.  Regardless of the reason it is important to not ignore conflicts in the workplace.

What to do first

Conflicts are a normal part of the work environment. Employees may experience times of conflict with their co-workers and supervisors may experience disagreements with their employees.  In either case, the first step is for the two parties to resolve the issues themselves.  If a resolution cannot be reached amongst themselves, the next step is to involve a supervisor or the supervisor’s manager (if applicable). The manager is responsible for hearing both sides of the argument and rendering a decision. If this step does not satisfy both parties, the final decision-making authority will be the applicable Dean/Director (for Academic Affairs) or Vice President (for other Units).  HR can work with the applicable decision-making authority, as necessary, to render a final, binding decision.   

1-on-1 consultations

Employee Relations offers 1-on-1 consultations to help facilitate and resolve workplace conflicts.  These consultations are available to discuss interpretation, explanation and clarification of University policies and procedures, advise employees regarding their employment rights, facilitate dialogue on employee/employer issues, supportable performance-based or behavior-based actions (corrective and disciplinary actions), and performance improvement plans.  If you would like to schedule a consultation please call 307-766-2437 or email renee.ballard@uwyo.edu.

Mediations

The University of Wyoming utilizes an Employee Assistance Program, Deer Oaks.  This program provides benefited employees and their household members with a broad array of services.  Deer Oaks offers full-service mediation at a cost of $300.00 per hour.  Please reach out to Employee Relations prior to reaching out to Deer Oaks for mediation.

Grievance Process & Form

The Dispute Resolution process involves employment matters that are NOT corrective action matters or matters involving allegations of discrimination, harassment, or incidents or threats of workplace violence. Employees are encouraged to work through day-to-day problems in the workplace as they occur. When assistance is needed, employees are encouraged to contact Human Resources for information regarding available processes or policies to assist the employee. 

 STAFF GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE 

The staff grievance process is administered through Human Resources. The timelines for the grievance process may be extended for good cause at the discretion of Human Resources. If an employee fails to appeal from one level to the next level of this procedure within the time limits set forth, without Human Resources discretion, the problem should be considered settled on the basis of the last decision, and the issue is not subject to further consideration. 

  • Eligible Employees
    • Any non-probationary, classified staff employee of the University appointed and serving in a position pursuant to the Regulations of the Trustees of the University of Wyoming is eligible to use the Grievance Procedure. The grievance procedure does not apply to probationary, at-will or contract employees.
  • Grievance Definition
    • A grievance is an alleged violation of University policies or rules that has a significant or material effect on the employee’s employment.
  • Non-Grievable Issues
    • Employees do not have the right to grieve: performance evaluation ratings; job classification; salary grade; pay assignment; corrective actions; content of policies and regulations of the Trustees of the University, the University, or any department thereof; salary decisions; retrenchment; civil rights complaints properly addressed under UW Regulation 4-2; threats or acts of workplace violence properly addressed under UW Regulation 4-4; or reassignment with or without loss of pay.
    • If the employee complaint is regarding illegal harassment or discrimination, the employee should submit the written complaint directly to Equal Opportunity Report and Response.

Formal Grievance Process: 

  • Discussion with Supervisor
    • Employee concerns should first be discussed with the employee’s immediate supervisor. If the complaint involves the employee’s supervisor, the employee should schedule a meeting with that supervisor to discuss the problem that gave rise to the grievance within five working days of the date the incident occurred. 
    • The immediate supervisor should respond in writing to the complaint within five working days of the meeting held with the complainant employee.
    • If a resolution is reached, the grievance is considered resolved and is not subject to reconsideration at a later date, unless the agreed-upon resolution is not implemented. If the grievance is not resolved at the informal meeting, the employee may submit a grievance form.  Human Resources will provide this form to the appropriate Dean or Director. If the employee does not submit written grievance the grievance is considered resolved.
  • Written Grievance 
    • If the discussion with the immediate supervisor does not resolve the problem to the mutual satisfaction of the employee and the supervisor, or if the supervisor does not respond to the complaint, the employee may submit a grievance form
  • Upon reciept of the form, Human Resources will provide the form to the next level supervisor.  This next level supervisor will consult with the employee's immediate supervisor, Human Resources and any other relevant parties to evaluate the grievance. Human Resources may gather further information from involved parties. The next level supervisor must schedule a meeting with the complainant and Human Resources within 10 working days of receipt of grievance to discuss the grievance with complainant.  The next level supervisor must issue a decision both in writing and orally to the complainant within 7 working days after the meeting. A copy of the decision must be provided to Human Resources.
  • Appeal
    • If an agreement between the employee and the next level supervisor is not attained, the employee may submit a written appeal to the Vice President of the division for review. A copy of appeal should also be provided to Human Resources. The request for review should include:
      • An explanation of the grievance and details of all previous efforts to resolve the issue
      • A copy of the written grievance submitted to the next level supervisor
      • A copy of the next level supervisor’s written response to the employee's grievance
      • Detailed information regarding the employee's dissatisfaction with the next level supervisor’s response.
    • The division Vice President will consult with the employee's immediate supervisor, Head of Human Resources and any other relevant parties to evaluate the grievance. All documentation gathered by Human Resources shall be delivered to the Vice President reviewing the appeal. The Vice President may conduct additional fact-finding or rely solely on the information provided by Human Resources. The reviewing Vice President must provide a written decision to the employee within 10 working days of receipt of appeal. A copy of the decision must be provided to Human Resources.
    • The outcome of the review by Vice President is final unless new evidence or other circumstances warrant additional review of the complaint.
  • Prohibition Against Retaliation
    • No employee may be disciplined or otherwise prejudiced in employment for exercising their rights under the grievance process. No employee shall be retaliated against for utilizing the grievance process or for serving as a witness or representative in a grievance process. Any such retaliation is expressly prohibited and may constitute grounds for disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

University of Wyoming Grievance Form

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