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General jurisdictional guidelines
The conflict resolution policy covers current University administrators, faculty, P&A, civil service, and student workers (including research and teaching assistants). A person is considered a University employee if the person receives a University paycheck. Employees who are represented by a labor organization are excluded from services. Bargaining unit employees may pursue their concerns through the process established in their collective bargaining agreements.
Persons who are not employed by the University, even if their work is physically located at the University, such as employees of University of Minnesota Physicians, are excluded from services.
The conflict resolution process is for employment-related issues and conflicts. Informal services are available for a broad range of employment-related issues. Formal conflict resolution services are available for some, but not all, workplace disputes.
There are no fixed time limits for raising an issue informally, although conflict resolution staff may decline to process issues that are so stale that efforts would be futile, that have been processed previously in this or other offices, or that would create unfair surprise or prejudice.
Additional jurisdictional guidelines for formal conflict resolution processes
Former employees who file a petition challenging the termination of employment within six weeks of its effective date may be eligible for formal conflict resolution services. Eligibility to challenge termination of employment depends on the terms of the employee’s governing employment contract. Former employees who challenge an employment termination may not challenge employment actions occurring more than six weeks prior to the petition filing date.
Regular faculty. Complaints by a regular faculty member will be heard in accord with the terms of Board of Regents Policy: Faculty Tenure. The Senate Judicial Committee takes original jurisdiction over some employment-related issues, and defers to the conflict resolution process on others.
Faculty emeriti. An emeritus faculty member who is not currently an employee of the University may submit a petition alleging a covered violation only: 1) if such violation occurred prior to termination of employment; or 2) if a written contract signed by the authorized University official during the employment period is violated after the employment terminates; provided, however, that the remedy in such a case will be limited to a financial remedy. A dispute arising under Board of Regents Policy: Faculty Emeriti may not be the basis of a petition, but will be resolved informally in accordance with the terms of Board of Regents Policy: Faculty Emeriti.
Covered Subject Matter in the Formal Process
An allegation of a violation of a specific University rule, regulation, policy, or practice pertaining to employment is required. Examples include alleged violations of the civil service rules, P&A policies, and human resource policies.
A petition alleging discrimination in the employment relationship, including sexual harassment, may be submitted to the Office for Conflict Resolution or submitted to the University's Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA), but not to both offices. Discipline imposed at the conclusion of an EOAA investigation can be the subject of a petition. Appendix: Filing an Internal Discrimination Complaint compares the process for filing an internal discrimination complaint in the Office for Conflict Resolution vs. EOAA.
Subject Matter Not Covered in the Formal Process
Academic misconduct. Issues of academic misconduct are not within the scope of this policy. For further information, refer to Board of Regents Policy: Academic Misconduct and related Administrative Policy: Research Misconduct. Discipline imposed on an eligible employee, including discipline imposed as a result of academic misconduct proceedings, may be the subject matter of a petition under this policy.
Termination of Civil Service employment during probation. Civil Service employees may not use this process to challenge involuntary termination of employment during the probationary period if a written performance appraisal was provided and there is no allegation of discrimination.
Non-renewal of a fixed-term or annual appointment. P&A employees may not use this policy to complain of non-renewal of a fixed-term or annual appointment if the non-renewal is consistent with Administrative Policy: Non-Renewal of Appointment for Academic Professional and Administrative Employees and not in violation of some other University policy.
Violation of Board of Regents Policy: Code of Conduct. By its own terms, Board of Regents Policy: Code of Conduct does not create substantive or procedural rights and cannot be the basis of a petition.
Deciding Jurisdictional Challenges
The University may raise a jurisdictional challenge to a petition at any point in the petition process.
On receipt of a jurisdictional challenge, the Director will ask both parties to present their views on jurisdiction. The Director then will make a written determination whether the petition meets the jurisdictional requirements for the formal process.
Either party may object to the Director’s determination by notifying the Director in writing within two weeks of the party's receipt of the determination. The Office for Conflict Resolution will forward the Director’s decision to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs who may accept, modify, or reject it in accord with the procedures for the Senior Vice President’s review of panel decisions.