Adopted by President’s Cabinet 9/25/12
Revisions Adopted by President’s Cabinet 12/19/17; 4/23/24

East Georgia State College (“College”) is committed to providing a positive working environment. In furtherance of that commitment, employees are expected to engage in open and respectful dialogue with others to attempt to resolve any conflicts or disagreements that may arise.

The purpose of this Policy is to provide a mechanism to resolve disputes between supervisors and employees fairly and at the lowest possible level and to promote a safe and amicable workplace for all.

I. Applicability

Subject to the exceptions below, a grievance is available:

        1. To handle claims that a regular employee has been harmed by any action that violates the policies of either the College or the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (“Board of Regents”); or
        2. For disciplinary review requested by a regular staff employee who has been (a) dismissed; (b) suspended; or (c) demoted or their salary has been reduced.

A grievance is not available to dispute:

        • Promotion and tenure decisions;
        • Performance evaluations;
        • Hiring decisions;
        • Classification appeals;
        • Challenges to grades or assessments;
        • Challenges to salary decisions;
        • Challenges to transfers or reassignments;
        • Termination or layoff because of lack of work or elimination of position;
        • Investigations or decisions reached under the College’s Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy or Sexual Misconduct Policy;
        • Normal supervisory counseling;
        • Dismissal during the six-month provisional period;
        • Adverse effects from reorganization, program modification, or financial exigency (such employee may apply to the Board of Regents for review);
        • Issues alleging any form of race, age, sex, color, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability discrimination as a basis for the grievance (such matters will be referred to the EEO Officer);
        • Termination of “at will” temporary and student employees; or
        • Issues that have been previously heard by an administrative panel at the College.

A classified employee may file a grievance only if the employee has been suspended, discharged, demoted, or their salary has been reduced.

II. Grievance and Disciplinary Review Procedures

The grievant must follow the steps listed in their notice of adverse action if they wish to file an appeal. Failure to do so will constitute a waiver of the grievant’s right to appeal.

The first level of appeal will be to the manager of the person who signed the notice of adverse action. Within five working days of the notification of the action, the grievant shall submit their appeal in writing indicating specifically why they believe the decision to terminate was improper and should be reversed. The manager may also meet with the employee if they believe it would be beneficial in their review of the matter.

If the manager decided to uphold the adverse action, they will provide written notification of that decision to the grievant to include information on who to contact in the event they wish to appeal to the Impartial Board of Review (IBR).

If the grievant wishes to appeal to the IBR, s/he must submit a Petition for Review to the Office of Human Resources within ten working days of the date of the final decision letter, unless there is good cause for delay. The Director of Human Resources will rule on whether the employee had good cause for filing the grievance late. Upon submission of the grievance statement, the grievant will be provided with a copy of the formal grievance policy and other documents pertaining to grievance hearing procedures. A Petition for Review form, attached hereto, must be completed by the grievant and must include the following information:

        • Grievant’s name and contact information;
        • Department/unit in which the grievant is/was employed and job title;
        • Date of adverse employment action;
        • Nature of the problem or complaint;
        • History of resolution efforts;
        • Reason(s) the grievant disagrees with departmental/unit response;
        • Identification of any witnesses who may have relevant information regarding the complaint;
        • identification of documents relevant to the complaint;
        • Grievant’s requested resolution of the matter;
        • Whether an oral presentation before the IBR is requested; and
        • Any supporting documentation.

IBR Board Member Selection

The Board will consist of three panel members selected from a standing committee of employees who will receive training on the hearing process. Members of the standing committee will serve a three year term. The Office of Human Resources will select the committee members to serve on the panel and will ensure that members of the committee who are in the same department as the grievant or may have a conflict of interest are not chosen as panel members for that case. The Board will select among themselves one panel member to serve as Hearing Officer. Additionally, the grievant and management representative may object to any panel member who they believe, with reasonable cause, may be incapable of remaining impartial throughout the process. These concerns must be shared with the Hearing Officer, or, if the objection is to the Hearing Officer, with the Director of Human Resources prior to the hearing so that s/he can make a decision on the matter.

The Director of Human Resources and the Office of Legal Affairs will be available to assist the parties and the IBR in administering these procedures. To that end, they will remain neutral throughout the proceedings and will serve primarily as a facilitator.


Evidence shall be limited to witness testimony and documentation that is directly relevant to the employment action in dispute.

Any documents or other material the grievant wishes to offer as evidence to the IBR must be submitted simultaneously with the Petition for Review. The following procedures for exchange of information will then be followed:

            • A copy of the Petition for Review and attached documents will be provided to the other party or parties to the dispute (“Respondent(s)”). The Respondent will have an opportunity to provide documents or other material in response, as well as identify witnesses.
            • A copy of the Respondent’s response will be provided to the grievant, who will have an opportunity to state any objections they may have and provide documentation relevant to and in support of their objection.
            • Should an objection be raised by either party to the relevance of any documents, the Hearing Officer will review such documents and remove those documents that are not relevant.
            • Parties are not permitted to provide additional documentation or other materials at the time of the hearing unless specifically requested by the IBR. This is to ensure that all parties and the IBR have had an adequate time to review the materials.

The Board is not bound by the strict legal rules of evidence and may receive any evidence of probative value in order to determine the issues involved; however, every effort is made to obtain the most reliable evidence available. All substantive matters related to the admissibility of evidence or procedural matters are decided by the presiding Hearing Officer.

Request for Hearing

A grievant who wishes to make an oral presentation to the IBR must make a request for a hearing in the Petition for Review. The purpose of a hearing is to provide an opportunity for individuals who may communicate more effectively in an oral presentation than in writing to supplement their written petition. If a hearing is requested, the representative of the employing unit or individual against which the appeal is directed will be afforded the opportunity to attend. If no hearing is requested, the review by the IBR will be based solely upon the written record.

Hearing Procedures and Witnesses

If a hearing is requested, the Hearing Officer will notify parties of the date, time, and place of the hearing. The IBR will endeavor to hold the hearing within ten working days from the date of the Petition for Review. Formal rules of evidence do not apply. The grievant shall appear first. Respondent and other parties shall appear after the grievant in an order determined by the IBR. Parties will not be permitted to cross-examine each other during the hearing. In its discretion, the IBR may select and invite witnesses identified by either party or by the IBR to appear before the IBR. Selected witnesses may respond in writing to the IBR’s request for information if they prefer. The hearing will be recorded.

Witnesses for the hearing must be current employees of EGSC, regular or temporary, in good standing. Former employees, students, and others may submit a relevant affidavit subject to the approval of the Hearing Officer. The following groups on individuals may not serve as witnesses:

            • Students
            • Members of the staff of the Office of the President;
            • Members of the staff of the Office of Human Resources; and
            • Members of the staff of the Office of Legal Affairs.

The Hearing Officer may approve an exception to this rule if such witnesses are directly relevant to the issues raised by the grievance.

Witnesses shall not be harassed, intimidated, or otherwise penalized for appearing at a hearing. The grievant and management representatives must obtain their own witnesses. Witnesses may elect not to participate.

Standard of Review

The grievant has the burden of proving by the preponderance of the evidence that the challenged action was wrongful.


The grievant may have an advisor present at the hearing who can communicate only with the grievant during the hearing. The advisor must be a current EGSC employee, regular or temporary, in good standing. This advisor cannot be an attorney, student, member of the Office of the President, member of the staff of the Office of Human Resources, or a member of the staff of the Office of Legal Affairs. Management ordinarily may not have an advisor during the hearing.


The grievant cannot have an attorney present during the hearing unless the grievant is being charged with a crime. If the grievant receives approval to have an attorney present because of pending criminal charges, then EGSC will also have a legal representative at the hearing.


Public statements and publicity about the complaint shall be avoided and the confidentiality of the hearing shall be preserved to the greatest extent permitted by law.

Report of the Board

The Board’s report shall be based on evidence brought forth at the hearing and all information in the grievant’s official personnel file to the date of the incident or event which brought about the grievance. The grievant’s entire personnel file will be available to the Board if requested. The Board, after considering all relevant evidence, shall determine findings by a majority vote. The findings will be transmitted in writing to the Director of Human Resources within ten working days of the conclusion of the hearing. The Director of Human Resources will then transmit the written findings and relevant information to the President. This report will be advisory to the President, who will use the report to reach a decision that best promotes the just, effective, and efficient operation of the College. The grievant will be informed of the President’s decision in writing and such decision shall be final at the institutional level.

Discretionary Review by the Board of Regents

The Board of Regents reserves discretionary authority to review decisions made by institutions. Any petition to the Board of Regents must be made within twenty days following the final decision of the President.

No Retaliation

Any attempt to intimidate or retaliate against a person for filing, responding to, or otherwise participating in a grievance is strictly forbidden. Any person who makes such an attempt will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. If any person involved in the grievance process feels that they are being or have been retaliated against for participating in these procedures, they should immediately contact the Director of Human Resources or Office of Legal Affairs.

Federal and State Laws

There are federal and state laws that cover school and workplace complaints and provide remedies for some school and workplace disputes. Participating in these procedures does not extend the deadlines within which to seek redress from outside agencies or initiate appropriate legal proceedings.