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Harvard Revises Grievance Procedures

HEW Approval Still Uncertain


Harvard has completed a revision of the employee-grievance section of its affirmative action plan in an attempt to comply with the Department of Health, Education and Welfare's (HEW) order to end discriminatory hiring practices.

HEW's New England office announced last month that Harvard, as a large Federal contractor, must take immediate action on plans for anti-nepotism policy, maternity leaves and grievance procedures.

Under the new plan, the grievance system would deal with cases of alleged discrimination as well as with discharges and discipline of employees.

Walter J. Leonard, special assistant to the president, said yesterday that the revised grievance handling plan has not yet been submitted to HEW for approval.

Edward W.Powers, associate director of personnel, said yesterday that Harvard's present maternity leaves and antinepotism policies meet HEW requirements.

Under the revised procedures, Harvard will continue to emphasize informal problem solving methods. Employees have been asked in the part to discuss problems with supervisors first. "The policy has always been to encourage informality; we feel that such methods are more conducive to positive results," Powers said.

Employees may also consult with a number of agencies such as the Personnel Office, the Managers of Employee Relations, the Benefits Administration and the President's Office.

The new plan also provides for formal grievance procedures. The employee first requests review by his supervisor, and can then ask for additional review by the dean or administrative department head in conjunction with the Director of Personnel.

Employees who desire further review may request a special hearing panel composed of three members: one chosen by the employee, one by the dean or department head involved, and a third chosen jointly by the employee and the official from a panel of seven persons connected with Harvard who have had arbitration experience. This further review is not available to students or probationary employees.

The decision by the special panel will be binding except in the case of administrative and professional employees. The panel will send its findings to the President in such cases.

In cases involving benefits, the University's Benefits Committee handles the review through the office of the Director of Personnel. Associate Director Powers suggested that additional review procedures--such as the new plan for general grievances--might be beneficial for classification cases as well

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