In addition to the educational and cultural opportunities available, Earlham strives to provide its employees with compensation, benefits, and working conditions at or above the level provided by other not-for-profit organizations. Since Earlham's mission is to educate and serve people, it strives to employ individuals who will give courteous and efficient service to others.
Earlham endeavors to develop and to maintain personnel policies and practices that are fair and equitable to all employees. Primary responsibility for defining, interpreting, and implementing these policies and practices for staff rests with the Assistant Vice President for Business Operations. In the event of a difference of opinion regarding these policies and practices, the Vice President for Financial Affairs will serve as the final authority.
Earlham College retains the right to modify at any time its personnel policies and procedures upon written notification to its employees. Earlham College also retains the right to modify the Earlham Employee Handbook at any time. This handbook is not intended to provide any assurance of continued employment and should in no way be construed as an employment contract.
Equal Employment Opportunity
Earlham is committed to providing equal access to employment opportunities to all qualified persons. Earlham will practice affirmative action to assure that women and racial minority candidates are actively sought for all faculty and staff vacancies. Furthermore, since Earlham is also committed to maintaining its Quaker identity, it will aggressively seek candidates who are Quaker or in congruence with Quaker testimonies.
Responsibility for aggressive affirmative action recruiting lies with the person conducting the search; for teaching and administrative faculty positions, the appropriate department or search convener; for staff positions, the Assistant Vice President for Business Operations. The Affirmative Action Officer (AAO) should be consulted for information and advice and will serve as a check that appropriate procedures are being followed.
In recruiting and in hiring, Earlham wants to hire the best candidate for each position. Such a selection ultimately rests on a set of value judgments. Into that set must be introduced the fact that an affirmative action candidate, by virtue of being a woman, racial minority, or Quaker, brings to the campus a background, experience and presence that Earlham values for the diversity this provides to all concerned.
Promotion/Transfer to Staff Positions
Earlham is committed to promoting/transferring qualified internal candidates (i.e., current employees) to fill position vacancies. Promotion is defined as movement from a position with a given classification level to another position with a higher classification level. Transfer is defined as movement from a position with a given classification level to another position with an equal or lower classification level. If an employee is promoted or transfers to a position in another classification level, the employee's wage rate will increase or decrease, at a rate equal to the difference between the original level's 90 Day wage rate, and the new level's 90 Day wage rate.
When a staff position vacancy is posted, current employees who want to be considered for promotion/transfer to the posted position should complete and submit an application to the Business Office (see Hiring and Recruiting Procedures).
Employees are encouraged to notify their respective supervisor when applying for a promotion or transfer. Employees are required to notify their respective supervisor when interviewed for a promotion or transfer. If an employee wishes to have copies of letters of recommendation from his/her personnel file attached to his/her application, it is the employee's responsibility to request this action by the Business Office.
Normally, an individual must have been in his/her current position for at least six (6) months in order to be considered for promotion/transfer. All promotions/transfers must be approved in advance by the Assistant Vice President for Business Operations, and appropriate Provost, Vice President for Financial Affairs, or Dean of ESR. In the case of staff being promoted to faculty positions, see the Policies & Procedures section of the Faculty Handbook.
Recruiting and Hiring Procedures: Staff Positions
The Business Office will maintain a pool of completed job applications to assist supervisors in identifying qualified job applicants and will coordinate the overall staff hiring process. While responsibility for selecting a candidate to fill a position vacancy rests with the respective hiring supervisor (normally the department head or convener), no position vacancy may be announced, advertised, offered, or filled without the advance approval of the Assistant Vice President for Business Operations.
When a staff position vacancy occurs, the appropriate department head5 or convener must contact the Assistant Vice President for Business Operations for approval to fill the vacancy. If such approval is secured, the department head or convener must submit an updated position description listing the major responsibilities of the position and the related qualifications desired in the successful candidate to the Assistant Vice President for Business Operations.
Positions are not to be described with reference to sex, age, race, or religion except where such is justified in writing to the Affirmative Action Officer as a bona fide occupational qualification or preference, e.g., that the Campus Ministry position be filled by a Quaker. Position descriptions should focus on the knowledge, skills, and talents sought; that is, not a Quaker fundraiser, but a fundraiser who can communicate with members of Midwestern yearly meetings; not a male custodian but a custodian who can lift 50 pounds.
Upon approval of the position description, the Assistant Vice President for Business Operations will determine the job classification level and starting wage rate (new employee) of the position vacancy and issue a "Position Vacancy Notice." The notice will typically include the position title, employment status, budgeted hours, classification level, starting wage rate (new employee) and an abbreviated version of the responsibilities and qualifications contained in the position description. The Position Vacancy Notice will be posted on the Position Notice Board in the area of the Business Office (Lower Level of Carpenter Hall) for at least five (5) working days before the position is filled in order to inform current employees of the vacancy and give those interested time to apply. Copies of the notice will be posted to the staff listserve or Earlham Web site. Abbreviated information will normally be posted in the Earlham College Newsletter.
Classified advertising, the Indiana Employment and Security Division, and other community contacts may be utilized in locating qualified job applicants, especially for positions in which supervisory ability or high technical skill levels are being sought. The approved text of position advertisements must carry one of the following statements:
- an end-note: "AA/EEO"
- the expansion of 1 above: "Earlham College is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer."
- or, preferably, if not too costly: "As a Quaker college committed to Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity, Earlham especially encourages applications from women, racial minorities, and Quakers."
Employment applications are available in the Business Office. Individuals interested in employment at Earlham should complete and submit an employment application to the Business Office in person or by mail. After being on file for six (6) months, an application will no longer be considered.
III. Review of Applications
The hiring supervisor will review employment applications and normally select several applicants for personal interviews.
All promotions/transfers must be approved in advance by the Assistant Vice President for Business Operations.
A. Positions not requiring supervisory ability/high technical skill levels.
In the event that there are one or more internal candidates (i.e., current employees) for a position vacancy, the hiring supervisor may elect to interview the internal candidate(s) without considering any external candidates for the position. If the hiring supervisor determines that an internal candidate is qualified for the position, he/she may request that the internal candidate be promoted/transferred to fill the position vacancy. Of course, the hiring supervisor may always elect to interview external candidates regardless of the qualification levels of internal candidates. There is no requirement that internal applicants must be interviewed.
B. Positions requiring supervisory ability/high technical skill levels.
In the event that there are one or more internal candidates (i.e., current employees) for a position vacancy and at least one of the internal candidates is an affirmative action candidate, the process outlined above under section "A" is applicable. If there is not an internal affirmative action candidate, the hiring supervisor should consider one or more external candidates for the position so as to hold open the possibility of an affirmative action candidate being selected to fill the position vacancy. Of course, the hiring supervisor may always elect to interview external candidates (regardless of the qualification levels of internal candidates).
V. Personal Interview
Hiring supervisors are expected to ask each candidate a set of common open ended questions related directly to the position being filled. Notes and/or records of all interviews, including questions asked, are to be forwarded by the hiring supervisor to the Business Office once a hiring decision has been made.
The hiring supervisor has the discretion to be assisted by a committee or by a group of interviewers. The supervisor is encouraged to consult with the Assistant Vice President for Business Operations about the advisability of wide consultation in the hiring process.
In selecting the candidate best suited to fill a position vacancy, the hiring supervisor should keep in mind Earlham's commitment to affirmative action/equal opportunity employment, to the promotion of current employees, as well as desired job-related qualifications.
Once the hiring supervisor has selected the candidate that he/she wishes to hire, a "Staff Hiring Request/Report" form must be completed and submitted to the Assistant Vice President for Business Operations for approval. If unusual circumstances arise in reference to a hiring supervisor's selection, the Assistant Vice President for Business Operations will consult with the Affirmative Action Officer before giving approval. Only after receiving approval, may the hiring supervisor contact the successful candidate and offer him/her the position. If the candidate accepts the offer, the Assistant Vice President for Business Operations will issue the necessary payroll forms. The Business Offices informs the unsuccessful applicants that the position has been filled.
VII. Records and Documentation
Accurate and complete records should be kept throughout the hiring process and forwarded by the hiring supervisor to the Business Office once a hiring decision has been made. Even though some of the steps may be informal, accurate documentation of what was done is essential to demonstrate the fairness and good faith of the recruiting and hiring efforts. Records on file should include the following:
- Position Description
- Position Posting
- Staff Hiring Request/Report form
- Copies of letters sent and notes of phone calls made
- Interview notes and recommendations of others regarding the candidates' qualifications
- Copies of the employment applications of candidates interviewed.
Introductory Period for Staff Positions
New full-time and part-time staff employees will be placed on "introductory" status for at least their first ninety (90) days of employment. If the employee's work performance is not satisfactory at any time during or at the end of this period, his/her employment with Earlham may be terminated immediately. At the end of the introductory period, an "initial evaluation" is made by the employee's supervisor. At this time, an employee will be approved for continued employment, have his/her introductory period extended up to ninety (90) additional days, or have his/her employment with Earlham terminated. Employees do not earn or accumulate sick time or vacation time during the introductory period or extensions of this period (see Paid Sick Time and Paid Vacation Time sections of Related Administrative Policies and Procedures).
Should an individual who is already an employee apply for, be offered, and accept a different staff position within Earlham, the individual will also be subject to the standard introductory employment period in his/her new position. Should the introductory period not be successfully completed, the individual will be allowed to return to his/her former position if it is still unfilled, or to a similar position as soon as one is available (subject to the approval of the appropriate department head or convener). Because hiring for any position at Earlham is the decision of the hiring supervisor, there is no guarantee of continuing employment.
Staff positions will be assigned to one of the following categories:
||Position budgeted for thirty (30) or more hours per week, for thirty-six (36) or more weeks per year.
||Position budgeted for twenty (20) to twenty-nine (29) hours per week, for thirty-six (36) or more weeks per year.
||Position budgeted for less than twenty (20) hours per week or less than thirty-six (36) weeks per year.
||Position budgeted for a specific task or project scheduled to last less than one (1) year. (This includes positions of a seasonal or ad hoc nature required to complete routine work.)
*Supervisors must obtain budget approval in order to utilize temporary help, even by academic-year employees during their non-scheduled periods.
Job Classification Levels/Wage Rates
In determining the appropriate classification level for a particular staff position, the relative magnitude of a number of factors pertaining to the position are considered. These include: nature and difficulty of duties and responsibilities, individual discretion required, autonomy in performance of duties, confidentiality of information handled, impact of an error in performance of duties, skills/education/licensing/certification required, supervisory duties, interaction with key publics, overall workload (both peak and average), local market conditions, hazardous materials used, strenuous physical activity required, and hazardous machinery used/hazardous working environment. In light of the above factors, a given position is grouped with other positions on campus into a particular classification level.
Wage rates are set based primarily upon a position's classification level and an employee's prior continuous service to Earlham.
Responsibility for determining job classification levels and wage rates for staff employees will rest with the Assistant Vice President for Business Operations in consultation with the Vice President for Financial Affairs. Supervisors/department heads are encouraged to provide any information useful in making such determinations.
Each staff position should have a job description that outlines the normal duties and responsibilities for that particular position. Supervisors are to give each employee, upon being hired, a copy of his/her job description. Supervisors are also responsible for keeping job descriptions updated, seeking approval from the Assistant Vice President for Business Operations for major changes.
Individuals should note that because of the relatively small size of the Earlham College community, these descriptions describe only normal duties. From time to time, it may be necessary for an individual to participate in other tasks not included in this description or to adjust his/her regularly scheduled hours or days in order to meet a seasonal or unusual situation. Such temporary adjustments are considered part of every job description and your cooperation during such periods is greatly appreciated.
The usual office workweek for staff is thirty-seven and a half (37.5) hours, Monday through Friday. During the academic year, normal office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with some offices closed for lunch between 12:00 and 1:00 p.m. These times will vary for some departments; most notably, Physical Plant and Housekeeping usually start earlier and have only 30 minutes for lunch. Summer office hours (8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) begin the Monday following Graduation Day, and end the Friday before Faculty Retreat.
Periodically, an employee may be asked to work additional hours; for all hours worked over 40 hours per week, an employee will be paid at the overtime rate of time and one half (see Compensatory Time/Overtime section). Supervisors will inform employees whenever overtime work is necessary. There may also be times when an employee's "normal" schedule will be adjusted to meet special situation (see Compensatory Time/Overtime and also Job Description sections).
Employees are expected to be at work on time and to notify the appropriate supervisor if delayed or needing to be absent. All hours worked are to shown on the bi-weekly "Record of Hours Worked" time slip form. It is the employee's responsibility to notify the supervisor prior to the scheduled start time that they will be delayed or absent. Patterns of late or no notification may result in disciplinary action.
The normal work period for academic-year positions begins the Monday of the week of Faculty Retreat and ends on the Friday after Graduation Day. Any deviation from this pattern must be requested in writing by the employee's department head or convener and approved in advance by the Assistant Vice President for Business Operations. Employees in these positions may take their vacation days, sick days, personal days and approved time only during the normal work period.
Rest periods consist of at most two 15-minutes rest periods per day — normally one morning and one afternoon break of not more than 15 minutes each per 4 hour period and are to be arranged in consultation with an employee's supervisor. No office should be left unattended. Rest periods may not be accumulated. More frequent rest periods with shorter breaks are not normally permitted. Smoking may occur only during rest periods.
In general, employees are not permitted to be in secured areas of the campus outside of their own work area, unless authorized by their supervisor or an officer of the College or ESR. With few exceptions (for example, 3rd shift security officers), employees are not permitted to spend the night on campus without written permission from their supervisor or an officer of the College. An exception is a student or College event that is open to the Earlham community.
Changes of Personnel/Payroll Records
It is important that Business Office and payroll records contain current information. Whenever there is a change in home address, telephone number, marital status, number of dependents or desired beneficiary, the Business Office must be notified in writing. This ensures accurate and timely service to employees in regard to paychecks, payroll withholdings and/or deductions, and benefit plans.
The primary role of Employee Council is to provide another communication link between staff employees and the College and to provide a discussion forum for matters of general concern to staff employees. Employee Council is not intended to replace any regular channels of direct communication between the College and employees nor is it a policy making body.
Representatives of Employee Council serve on campus committees such as Budget Committee and Earlham Welfare Committee, and attend Faculty Meetings.
The secondary roles of Employee Council are to serve as a staff nominating committee when needed and to allocate Staff Professional Development Funds in response to employee requests (see Staff Professional Development Fund section).
Seven Employee Council members are chosen by staff employees annually. The Assistant Vice President for Business Operations also attends all Employee Council meetings and is responsible for appointing a staff employee to Employee Council to serve as secretary, with minutes subject to the approval of Employee Council. Employees may serve on Employee Council for more than three years.
Employee Council normally meets on a monthly basis, but may schedule more frequent meetings if a matter requires special consideration.
ESR Meeting for Worship
All ESR offices are closed during ESR Meeting for Worship. All ESR employees are expected to attend Meeting for Worship unless excused by the ESR Dean.
Employee Council assigns representatives to the following committees: Budget, Welfare, Wellness and Committee on Campus Life (CCL). Employee Council also names observers to the Faculty Meeting and to the Board of Trustees meeting. If those meetings occur on days or at times not normally worked, then the employee required to attend as a result of official membership on the committee will be compensated at their usual rate or at their overtime rate, if applicable.
Inclement Weather Days
On days when the College and ESR are declared to be closed due to inclement weather, full-time and part-time employees are paid for their regularly scheduled hours at their regular hourly wage rate.
On days when the College and ESR are forced to close prior to its normal closing time, individuals who would be working during the remaining hours are compensated for these hours at their regular hourly wage rate, as if they had been at work. (This includes only those employees who were actually working that day and does not affect in any way individuals who are sick, on vacation, or on leave). On such days, Earlham may ask some individuals to remain and finish jobs or undertake tasks that need to be done as a result of the situation. Individuals stay, however, only at the request of a supervisor and with the advance approval of the Assistant Vice President for Business Operations or Dean of ESR. In such cases, compensation for hours worked beyond the announced closing time and in excess of 40 hours per workweek, will be paid at the overtime wage rate and will be in addition to the employee's regular wages for hours prior to the normal closing time.
On days, or times, when the College and ESR are open but weather makes it difficult for individuals to arrive on time, supervisors have the right to not penalize employees arriving late. Individuals who fail to make it to work due to the inclement weather must use vacation time or personal time in order to be paid for such time. Sick time may not be used in such situations. Supervisors will be encouraged to be sensitive to requests by staff employees to leave work early due to worsening weather conditions; however, employees must use vacation time or personal time in order to be paid for hours not worked.
If an employee is called for jury duty, he/she should contact the Assistant Vice President for Business Operations in the Business Office regarding compensation procedures.
In the event an employee is required by an Officer of the Court to serve on jury duty or act as a witness in court, the employee will have the choice between receiving pay provided by the court or continue pay at his/her regular rate and scheduled hours. To receive regular pay from Earlham, the employee must advise the Assistant Vice President for Business Operations and, in turn, provide to Earlham any compensation received for jury/witness duty, less any monies received for travel and lodging from the Court.
This policy described in this section of the Handbook does not apply to employees who are named as defendants, plaintiffs, or party to a case in litigation (speeding tickets, etcetera). Employees will be required to use vacation time, personal time, or an unpaid leave for such absences.
From time to time it may be necessary for a supervisor to alter a normal weekly work schedule to accommodate some unusual need of the College. This will be done in consultation with the employee. The employee will be compensated for such time in one of two ways: (1) compensatory time or (2) overtime pay.
Compensatory time is an equal amount of time given as time off to replace any hours the employee may have worked beyond the normal work schedule. For example, if an employee works two (2) extra hours on Monday, compensation may be given by allowing him/her to work two (2) hours less than normal on Friday. Another example, an employee may be given eight (8) hours off on Thursday in anticipation of working eight (8) hours on Saturday.
By federal law, the use of compensatory time is limited to use within the same workweek. "Extra" hours worked cannot be carried into the next week and cannot be accumulated for future use. Additional information about compensatory time is accessible on the Department of Labor Web site: www.dol.gov.
When compensatory time cannot be worked out or when the supervisor thinks that extra hours are necessary to accomplish a task, federal law requires overtime wages are paid. Overtime is paid for hours worked that exceed (40) hours of actual time on the job during a pay week. To determine eligibility during a specific week, an employee should add up his/her total hours and subtract any time taken as sick, vacation, or personal time (paid holidays count as time worked). If the total is in excess of forty (40) hours, he/she will be paid at the rate of time and a half for those hours above forty (40). The remaining time, that is the sick, vacation, or personal time, while not part of the overtime calculation, is paid as straight time at an employee/s regular hourly wage rate.
Supervisors should check with the Assistant Vice President for Business Operations to verify that funds are budgeted and available for overtime pay before scheduling an employee to work extra hours.
Job Performance Evaluations
Immediate supervisors are encouraged to schedule periodic informal sessions to discuss job performance with their staff and to annually conduct a formal job performance evaluation with each staff employee. Marginal work performance and unsatisfactory employee conduct should be discussed in a constructive manner as necessary throughout the year, and as part of the annual, formal performance evaluation.
The formal, annual evaluation will normally take place in February or March each year. Formal evaluations may take place more frequently if desired by either the staff employee or the super-visor. The annual job performance evaluation consists of a written evaluation of the employee by the supervisor and a follow-up face-to-face discussion between the employee and the supervisor. This written evaluation is to be signed by the supervisor and the employee to ensure that the employee is aware of its content and that a follow-up meeting does take place. Signing the evaluation does not imply that the employee agrees with its content. Should an employee wish to state disagreement with a supervisor's evaluation, he/she may do so in writing to the Assistant Vice President for Business Operations. This statement will be included along with the supervisor's evaluation in the employee's Human Resources file.
These informal and formal review sessions should help employees to improve their job skills and performance over time. Job performance evaluations will form part of the basis for future wage rate adjustments, promotion considerations, and other possible position changes.
If there is a performance area that is deficient, supervisors are encouraged to seek improvement first through a verbal discussion or warning. The verbal discussion or warning should specifically address the performance item or behavior that needs improvement. Supervisors may wish to keep notes on topics covered and the date of the discussion.
If an employee's performance does not improve following the verbal discussion and/or verbal warning, supervisors may initiate disciplinary action. See the Disciplinary Action section of the Handbook.
Wage Rate Reviews
Annual wage rate reviews normally occur in the spring of each year, with approved wage rate adjustments effective the first day of the pay period of the new fiscal year beginning July 1. The size of an employee's wage rate increase will depend primarily upon the availability of funds. The employee's job performance and his/her length of service at Earlham also may be considered.
Employees who join Earlham between January 1 and March 31 of a given year should not expect to receive a wage rate increase equal in magnitude to those of individuals who have been employed six (6) months or longer as of July 1. Employees who join Earlham between April 1 and June 30 of a given year are normally not given a wage increase on July 1 of the same year; employees hired between April 1 and June 30 become eligible for the wage increase in the next year, 13 – 15 months after their hire date.
Temporary employees should not expect wage rate increases given the short-term nature of their employment. In the event that a temporary employee is rehired for a second year or season of employment, he/she may be offered a modest wage rate increase.
Misconduct, negligence, inefficiency, unexcused or unapproved absences, insubordination, unsatisfactory job performance or other similar behavior by an employee may result in disciplinary action. A progressive discipline model is encouraged in most cases, which may include the following steps:
- Step 1: A verbal discussion or warning that specifically addresses the performance item or behavior which needs improvement. Supervisors may wish to keep notes on topics covered and the date of the discussion.
- Step 2: A written warning that specifically addresses the performance item or behavior which needs improvement. A copy of the written warning will be placed in the employee's Human Resources file.
- Step 3: With the approval of the Assistant Vice President for Business Operations, a probationary period should be established, with clearly stated beginning and end dates. Written notification of the probationary period should include clearly defined expectations for performance items and behaviors, and methods for achieving those goals. A copy of the written notification of the probationary period will be placed in the employee's Human Resources file.
- Step 4: With approval of the Assistant Vice President for Business Operations, demotion, suspension without pay, termination or other disciplinary actions depending on the particular situation and at the sole discretion of the College.
The following are examples of behaviors which may subject an employee to immediate termination or other disciplinary action without previous warning. Other behaviors may be deemed by Earlham to warrant immediate termination or other disciplinary action.
- falsifying employment application, time slips or other Earlham records;
- theft, in any form;
- refusal to do the job assigned; willful disobedience of job instructions and orders; willful restriction of efficiency and output; demonstrated incompetence;
- intoxication or drinking on duty; use, sale or possession of controlled substances on the job;
- gambling on Earlham premises;
- deliberate or intentional release of confidential information;
- willful mistreatment of an Earlham student or Earlham employee;
- willful and deliberate destruction, damage or defacement of Earlham property or equipment;
- use of obscene or profane language;
- absent three consecutive days without notice or approval of supervisor;
- a threat of any act that would endanger life or property.
Supervisors may, for disciplinary purposes, suspend an employee without pay for not less than one day nor more than three days. In the event of suspension, the supervisor will send written notice of such action to the Assistant Vice President for Business Operations. The notice will state the reason(s) for the suspension and its duration, and a copy of the notice will be given to the suspended employee or mailed to his/her last known address.
With the approval of the Assistant Vice President for Business Operations, disciplinary actions may also include termination during the introductory period, and demotion or termination of employment after the introductory period. In such cases, a written notice will be given to the employee or mailed to his/her last known address.
An employee may submit an appeal in writing within seven (7) calendar days of the date of a disciplinary notice to the Assistant Vice President for Business Operations. (If the notice is mailed to the employee, such appeal must be made in writing within seven (7) calendar days of the postmarked date). The Assistant Vice President for Business Operations will review the appeal, determine whether the disciplinary action is justified, and will sustain, reduce or rescind the action.
Termination of Employment
Hopefully, every employee will have a long and satisfying association with Earlham. However, if an employee chooses to terminate his/her employment with Earlham, then Earlham requests at least two (2) weeks written notice be given through his/her supervisor. In the event that Earlham finds it necessary to terminate an employee, two (2) weeks notice may be given to the employee. In some circumstances and at its sole discretion, Earlham may elect to terminate an employee immediately.
Each terminating staff employee should have an "exit interview" with the Assistant Vice President for Business Operations on or before his/her final day of employment. This interview will provide the employee an opportunity to learn about insurance conversion options and to ask any other pertinent questions. All keys, employee benefit cards, and other Earlham property must be submitted to the Business Office or other appropriate office at or before the last date of employment. If there is any balance due on an employee's personal account at the time employment is terminated, the employee will be asked to sign a promissory note or otherwise make arrangements with the Accounting Office. Earlham will pursue legal action where necessary, to recoup unpaid balances and Earlham property that is not returned or that is returned in damaged condition.
Active Listeners and Mediation Services
Members of the Active Listeners group are available for confidential conversation about conflict in the workplace. Active Listeners assist staff in discerning, identifying and articulating the cause for conflict, and make suggestions for working toward lasting resolution. Active Listeners have been trained to offer support, but have not been trained as mediators. Active Listeners are expected to refer concerns or situations that fall outside their abilities or responsibilities to the appropriate resource on campus. The group does not function as a judicial/appellate body nor do its individual members serve as arbitrators in any way.
The Active Listener group is comprised of staff volunteers and training is supported by the Business Office. The availability of this service is based on the level of volunteer involvement. The most up to date list of Active Listeners is available from the Business Office.
In some cases, the Business Office can make arrangements for mediation services with a local service agency. This option is offered as an alternative to the formal grievance process, and the intention is to attempt to resolve the conflict through discussion, rather than a formal process. It may also be pursued in cases that don't fit the definition of a grievance, but could be well served by mediation through a neutral party. This option is strongly encouraged for those considering the formal grievance process, and mediation is also encouraged as a follow-up step to the formal grievance process, to move toward reconciling damaged working relationships. Contact an Active Listener or the Assistant Vice President for Business Operations for more information.
Staff Grievance Policy
Earlham College affirms the right of each staff employee to be free from exploitation and mistreatment by his/her supervisor and fellow employees. The College finds such behavior to be inappropriate and unacceptable.
Earlham College encourages each staff employees to discuss problems in the workplace with his or her supervisor, even in cases when the conflict may be with the supervisor. Earlham College hopes that most workplace conflicts are resolved through open communication and discussion, but also recognizes that resolution may require another approach in some cases. If a staff employee believes that he/she is being exploited or mistreated, he/she has the right to file a grievance under the following guidelines. Furthermore, he/she may do so without fear of adverse action being taken against him/her by Earlham College, such as disciplinary action, demotion or termination of employment.
Employees should note that objections to a written policy of the College shall not be grounds for filing a grievance. Rather, this type of issue should be brought to the attention of the Employee Council and the Director of Human Resources.
Employees should feel free to consult the Director of Human Resources regarding human resource issues or conflict in the workplace. Please also see the preceding Handbook section about Active Listeners for information about other resources. Such consultation does not have to be part of a grievance.
There are several stages in the grievance process. The grievance process requires the filing of a written statement of the grievance and initiates an investigation leading to a judgment. The steps are to be followed in sequential order as listed below and are to be pursued in a timely manner.
- The employee shall submit a written statement of the grievance to the Director of Human Resources**. The Director of Human Resources will furnish a copy of the grievance statement to the person(s) directly involved and to the appropriate department head(s).
- The Director of Human Resources will conduct an investigation to collect pertinent information which will include individual discussions with the employee filing the grievance and the person(s) directly involved.
- The Director of Human Resources will convene a meeting with the employee filing the grievance, the person(s) directly involved, and the appropriate department head(s) present to review the situation.
- Within fifteen (15)*** business days of the meeting referenced in step 3, the Director of Human Resources will issue a judgment in writing with copies to the appropriate parties and will recommend to the Vice President for Financial Affairs any action(s) deemed to be necessary or appropriate to resolve the grievance. If the evidence reveals that any of the parties involved has fabricated information, then the recommendation of the Director of Human Resources may include disciplinary action, demotion, or termination of employment for that individual.
- Either party may submit a written appeal to the Vice President for Financial Affairs within five (5) business days. The decision of the Director of Human Resources shall be final unless the Vice President for Financial Affairs finds that there was an error in process or that there is significant new information not previously considered in the process.
The written statement of the grievance submitted by the employee, the background information generated by the investigation, and the judgment/recommendation of the Director of Human Resources will become a part of the employee's Human Resources file.
** If the grievance is with the person holding the position of Director of Human Resources, his/her role as outlined in the above steps will be assumed by the Vice President of Financial Affairs with any appeal, as outlined in step 5, going to the President.
*** If both parties agree to an extension of time, the Director of Human Resources may take longer than fifteen business days to issue a judgment.