02.A.05 – Employee Relations, Grievance, and Appeal

Section: Human Resources

Area: General

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The University of Houston System has a formal commitment to the establishment and maintenance of a constructive problem-solving mechanism for the resolution of employee grievances. The purpose of this policy is to provide a means whereby any employee who feels that they have been subjected to unfair, discriminatory, or abusive treatment may be assured of a prompt, orderly, and fair response to their grievance or appeal.


2.1. System policy requires that all employees be treated fairly and consistently in all matters related to their employment. System employees have the right to express a grievance through informal and formal avenues.

2.2. Wherever possible, employees are encouraged to pursue the resolution of job-related concerns through informal processes developed for and maintained by each System University. In the event that a grievance cannot be resolved through informal channels, formal university-specific procedures may be activated. Promptness in resolving job-related concerns is a necessary condition of equity. Each individual is encouraged to become familiar with their responsibilities and rights as an employee. Questions concerning each System University's staff grievance and appeals procedure should be addressed to the departmental supervisor or the System University's human resources department.

2.3. It is the policy of the System to provide both informal and formal avenues of resolution for employee job-related issues, or for any perceived violation of System policies and procedures, and state or federal employment laws. Intimidation, harassment, coercion or reprisal against any employee for good-faith presentation of a grievance is prohibited.

2.4. This grievance policy has been established in the interest of due process. It is a means to ensure employees have a method of redress in those instances where they feel they have been treated unfairly. Grievances may include, but are not necessarily limited to, dismissal, involuntary transfer, and demotion. Assignment of duties, determination of work hours and other management responsibilities are reserved as management rights and are not subject to grievance.

2.5. Each System University will develop and maintain policies and procedures that provide for the following:

• Coverage of the policy and procedures;

• Informal grievance resolution;

• Formal grievance resolution;

• Prompt resolution at each stage;

• Impartial review of employee concerns;

• Documentation of both informal and formal processes;

• Clear communication of employee concerns and relief sought;

• Instructions for conducting formal hearings;

• Clear communication of final decisions;

• Prohibition against retaliation for good faith;

• Participation in the grievance process; and

• Reasonable confidentiality.


3.1. Each System University's grievance and appeals policy and procedures shall be communicated to every new employee during employee orientation. Each new employee will be furnished information regarding the location of the university's policy on the university's web site. Each departmental supervisor is responsible for establishing a mutual understanding with their employees of the need to resolve problems objectively with freedom from fear of retaliatory consequences or reprisals.

3.2. The policy of the University of Houston System and its Universities is to ensure equal opportunity in all its educational programs and activities, and all terms and conditions of employment without regard to age, race, color, disability, religion, national origin, ethnicity, military status, genetic information, or sex (including gender and pregnancy), except where such a distinction is required by law. Additionally, UH System prohibits discrimination in all aspects of employment and educational programs on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. For the UH System's Official Non-Discrimination Statement, see SAM 01.D.05 – Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Statement.


Issued: 09/04/1990
Last Reviewed/Revised: 12/26/2023
Responsible Office(s): Human Resources