About appeal process
The university's appeal process is designed to provide prompt and orderly resolution of issues arising in the course of employment. It consists of three steps, starting with the supervisor in most cases, then moving to the department head or designee, and then to a university-wide committee that makes a recommendation to the vice president for human resources who renders the final decision.
An appeal can be submitted by completing an appeal form that is available in the human resources office or from the human resources manager or on the Forms page of this site. The appeal should identify the issue and the requested resolution. A copy of the appeal should be sent to the human resources office and to the designated human resources manager. If you have any concerns before filing a formal appeal and you would feel more comfortable discussing the matter with someone other than your supervisor, you can contact staff from your human resources office, your human resources manager or appeal advisor.
Your appeal must be in writing, and presented within ten (10) work days of the issue or within ten (10) work days of your having reasonable knowledge of the issue in order for it to be considered on its merits.
An appeal involving a disciplinary suspension or termination must be submitted in writing directly to the department head or designee within five (5) work days following the receipt of notice of suspension or termination.
Within five (5) work days of receiving the appeal, the supervisor is to provide a written response. The department head or designee is to provide a written response within ten (10) work days after receipt of the appeal. If additional time is needed to investigate the appeal, either the supervisor or the department head or designee will notify you in writing. The written notice is to include the date the decision will be provided.
If you are not satisfied with your supervisor's response to your appeal, or do not receive a response from your supervisor, it can be presented to the department head or designee within five (5) work days of receiving the supervisor's response (or within five (5) work days from the date on which the decision was due). If you are not satisfied with the department head's or designee's response, the appeal can be presented in writing to the vice president for human resources, within five (5) work days of receiving the department head's or designee's response.
When an appeal is submitted to the vice president for human resources, it is investigated by a committee of three individuals, including a committee chairperson and two individuals from the university community. The committee members will make a recommendation, and the vice president will render the final decision of the university.
Please remember that no one, including a supervisor, manager, or staff member, is permitted to engage in retaliation or any form of harassment directed against a staff member who files an appeal.
About appeal advisors
The university provides trained human resources staff to serve as appeal advisors. The role of the advisor is to provide information to staff members who may be considering filing an appeal, and to supervisors/managers who receive an appeal. An appeal advisor listens and helps the involved parties understand the appeal process and procedures.
An appeal advisor is not an advocate, does not offer advice for resolution of the appeal, neither encourages nor discourages the filing of an appeal, and does not accompany the staff member or supervisor to any meeting or serve as a spokesperson.
A list of appeal advisers can be found in the A-Z HR Staff directory.
Disputes not processed through the appeal process
Issues that cannot be pursued under the Appeal Process:
- Concerns pertaining to the general level of wages, wage patterns, fringe benefits, or other broad areas of financial management and staffing (e.g. department restructure, reduction in force) are not permitted to be pursued under the Appeal Process.
- Issues involving staff performance appraisals are not considered eligible to pursue in the Appeal Process, unless the appraisal represents an alleged violation of JHU policy.
- Performance improvement plans and/or verbal counseling cannot be pursued under the Appeal Process.
- Voluntary resignations initiated by a staff member are not eligible to be pursued under the Appeal Process.
An allegation of discrimination based upon race, color, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability, veteran status, marital status or any occupationally irrelevant condition cannot be pursued under the Appeal Process, but can be presented to the Office of Institutional Equity for consideration. Visit the Office of Institutional Equity for more information on discrimination complaints.