REG 05.25.01 - SPA Employee Performance Pay Dispute Resolution

Authority: Vice Chancellor for Finance and Business

History: First Issued: November 1, 2002. Last Revised: May 1, 2003.

Related Policies: 
NCSU REG05.50.04 - SPA Employee Performance Appraisal Program

Contact Info: Assistant Director for Employee Relations (919-515-6575)


1. Purpose

SPA employees have the right to a hearing to review and resolve disputes concerning performance ratings and/or performance pay decisions. Performance pay disputes must be resolved by utilizing the University Performance Pay Dispute Resolution procedure. However, disputes alleging discrimination will be processed through the University Grievance and Appeal policy and procedure.

2. Covered Employees

All SPA employees are covered.

3. Procedure

3.1. Dispute Filing 

To file for a review of a performance pay issue, the SPA employee must contact the Division of Human Resources within 15 workdays of receiving written notification of the performance appraisal rating and/or performance pay decision, and complete an SPA Performance Pay Dispute Resolution form. Decisions resulting from the University Performance Pay Dispute Resolution Procedure are final and cannot be appealed beyond the University level.

3.2. Notification of Right to Dispute

An SPA employee's right to appeal a performance rating is stated on the SPA Performance Appraisal and Work Plan form. SPA employees who are eligible for a performance pay increase must receive notice of appeal rights upon notification of whether or not they will receive an increase and/or when they are advised of the amount of increase they will receive.

3.2.1. Dispute Assistant

Each party in the dispute may elect to ask a fellow employee of his or her choice to assist or support by accompanying them to any meetings or hearing held in response to the formal SPA Performance Pay Dispute. The assistant must be an NC State University employee who has no active disciplinary action on file and has completed training provided by Human Resources.

3.2.1a. The assistant is permitted to serve only in an advisory capacity, not as an advocate or spokesperson for the disputing employee or management. The dispute assistant may not serve as a witness in the case.

3.2.1b. An employee may volunteer to be a dispute assistant no more than twice in a calendar year. The assistant must obtain prior management approval for any time away from work while functioning in this capacity.

3.2.1c. Management should make every effort to accommodate a request by an employee to serve as a dispute assistant. However, if allowing this would interfere with the proper performance of the employee's regular job responsibilities, management does have the right to deny this request. Human Resources will provide training for employees volunteering to be dispute assistants. A list of trained volunteers will be maintained by Human Resources and provided to the parties in an SPA Performance Pay dispute as requested.

3.2.2. Step 1

3.2.2a. Step 1 designee

Normally, the supervisor is designated to conduct the Step 1 review. Where the dispute does not fall within the administrative or decision-making authority of the immediate supervisor, or where other factors preclude assignment to the immediate supervisor, the Human Resources Performance Pay Dispute Coordinator shall, within 48 hours of receipt of the dispute, refer the dispute to the lowest level supervisor with administrative or decision-making authority. The employee must be notified and given the basis for the referral.

3.2.2b. Meeting between Step 1 designee and employee

The Step 1 designee must meet with the employee within 10 workdays of being notified by the Human Resources Performance Pay Dispute Coordinator that a request for review of a performance pay issue has been received. The purpose of this meeting is to attempt to resolve the dispute at the department or division level.

3.2.2c. Notification of Step 1 decision

The Step 1 designee must inform the employee in writing of the decision within 10 workdays of the Step 1 meeting. This decision must be reviewed and approved by the relevant department head/dean or vice chancellor prior to being provided to the employee. If the employee is still reporting to work, the written decision shall be hand-delivered to him or her. Otherwise, the written decision shall be sent to the employee's home via overnight or certified mail. If there is any need to extend the 10 workday deadline, the designee must notify the employee in writing of the reason for the delay and the date the employee will receive the written decision. Copies of all correspondence shall be sent to Human Resources. 

3.2.2d. Satisfaction with Step 1

If the employee is not satisfied with the Step 1 decision, or fails to receive a decision within the time frame specified above, he or she may request to proceed to Step 2. The employee must notify notify the Human Resources Performance Pay Dispute Coordinator, in writing, within 10 workdays of receipt of the Step 1 decision that he or she wishes to proceed to Step 2. Failure to request Step 2 by the 10 workday deadline will close the dispute.

3.2.3. Step 2

3.2.3a. In Step 2, one of the standing SPA Grievance and Dispute Panels will hear the dispute. The Panel consists of five members, of which at least two must be non-supervisory personnel. The Human Resources Performance Pay Dispute Coordinator will set the date and time of the hearing and the employee and management representative will be notified of the date and time of the hearing.

3.2.3b. Request to Proceed to Step 2

A request to move to Step 2 must include a specific written summary of all relevant documentation and a list of any witnesses who can substantiate the dispute. Witness lists must be submitted to the Human Resources Performance Pay Dispute Coordinator at least five workdays prior to the date of the hearing. The standing SPA Grievance and Dispute Panel has the right to request additional witnesses and may refuse to call any witness whose testimony has no significant bearing on the case. Any request for an exception to the one-week deadline will be considered and decided by the Panel. Neither side will be permitted representation by an attorney.

3.2.3c. Hearing Proceedings

Attendance at an SPA Performance Pay Dispute hearing is limited to the Panel, a Human Resources' representative, the employee and his or her dispute assistant, a management representative and a dispute assistant, a Public Safety representative, and witnesses (witnesses may only be in the hearing room while testifying). A dispute assistant may not ask questions of any hearing participant, or counsel with any hearing participant during the hearing proceedings. No person will be required to testify under oath. Both parties must be allowed to appear in person before the review panel before a final decision is rendered. The employee may speak in his/her own behalf. No comparative data (i.e. reference to other employees) will be allowed in reviewing an overall performance appraisal rating. Comparative data may be used in reviewing performance pay decisions.

3.2.3d. The proceedings will be tape recorded as an administrative convenience to the review panel. At the conclusion of the deliberations, the tapes will be sent to university counsel for storage.

3.2.3e. Notification of Step 2 decision

The Panel will take information from both the employee and management's representative and will make a written recommendation consistent with the information received, to the chancellor or designee within 10 workdays of the hearing. A copy of this recommendation will be provided to Human Resources.

3.2.3f. The chancellor, or designee, will have the authority to accept or modify the Panel's recommendation or to adopt a different decision. The chancellor, or designee, may choose to meet with the employee prior to rendering a final decision. The chancellor, or designee, will inform all parties in writing of the final decision.