Complaint Resolution Procedures

Informal review of work-related problems

Kenyon College encourages open and honest communication among its employees.

In many cases, work-related problems are the result of poor communication or a misunderstanding that can be resolved through additional discussion and agreement.

If you have a work-related complaint, please bring it to the attention of your immediate supervisor. Your supervisor has a responsibility to see that your problem is resolved as quickly as possible. If you still have a complaint after discussing the problem with your supervisor, you are encouraged to use the formal procedure as outlined below. In addition, you may use the services of the College Ombudsperson as a resource to help you explore flexible, creative solutions to the problem. Informally discussing your problem with the Ombudsperson does not preclude you from pursuing a formal complaint.

Formal Complaint Resolution Procedure

The College has established a formal Complaint Resolution Procedure which will enable employees to express their concerns and to seek solutions concerning disagreements arising from working relationships, working conditions, discipline and/or discharge, employment practices, or the interpretation of College policies. This procedure is intended to provide employees with a framework through which they may address work-related issues in an environment of civility and mutual respect.

Things to remember:

  • You have the right to express a complaint and expect a fair resolution without the fear of jeopardizing your employment status.
  • Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible during the processing of a complaint consistent with the need to thoroughly investigate the complaint and meet legal obligations.
  • You may request the presence of another Kenyon College employee as a support person during any meetings with College officials to discuss your complaint.
  • For complaints of sexual harassment please refer to the Sexual Harassment Policy.
  • If you are uncomfortable discussing your complaint with your supervisor, or if your complaint is about your supervisor, you may present it to the Division Head OR start with Step Two of the formal complaint resolution procedure.

Steps in the Formal Complaint Resolution Procedure

Step One: To initiate the formal complaint resolution procedure, please present your supervisor with a written and signed complaint and forward a copy to Human Resources. (If the complaint is about your supervisor, you may present it to the Division Head OR proceed directly to Step Two.) Your supervisor will respond in writing and forward a copy of the response together with a copy of the complaint to Human Resources within ten (10) working days of receiving the complaint from you.

Step Two: If you are not satisfied with the response given by your supervisor or if you choose to bypass the supervisor and/or division head, you may submit your complaint in writing to the Director of Human Resources. The Director of Human Resources will review the problem with you, your supervisor, the Department and/or Division Head and other persons involved, in an effort to resolve the problem. The Director of Human Resources must investigate and respond in writing within ten (10) working days of receiving the written request for review of the complaint.

Step Three: If you are not satisfied with the response given by the Director of Human Resources, you may submit a written request for appeal to the President. The request for an appeal must be submitted to the President within ten (10) working days from the date a written response was issued by the Director of Human Resources.

Your appeal will be reviewed by a special committee appointed by the President to be convened within ten (10) working days after receipt of the appeal request. The special committee will consist of the Co-Chairs of Staff Council and a member of Senior Staff (not from the Division of the complainant). In the event that a conflict of interest is declared, the President will appoint a replacement to the special committee from Staff Council. The three-person committee will review all pertinent written documentation of the complaint and decide whether the investigation includes a formal meeting of the parties. The committee will advise the President of their findings and recommendations within ten (10) working days of the date they were first convened. The President will take those recommendations under advisement for her/his final decision. The President will issue a written decision in the matter within fifteen (15) working days of receiving the recommendation from the special committee and a copy shall be forwarded to you at that time. A copy of the report together with the written complaint will be placed in your personnel file. The President's decision shall be the College's final action on the complaint.

Timeliness. The time periods prescribed in the above procedure are intended not as rigid rules, but rather as guidelines to which all are expected to adhere diligently and in good faith. Officials responsible for the administration of the Complaint Resolution Procedure retain the prerogative to exercise reasonable discretion to extend or waive deadlines when necessary or appropriate.