Iowa State University encourages and supports a civil workplace, as well as honest and respectful communication between employees and supervisors in order to avoid conflict and resolve disputes when they occur. Likewise, the university is committed to offering you options to appropriately resolve disputes.
Conflict in the Workplace
Definition of Conflict
A difference, complaint, or dispute regarding the interpretation, or application of policies, or procedures governing terms of employment, working conditions, work hours, or compensation. General wage adjustment and complaints about discrimination and harassment based on a protected group membership or status (see Discrimination and Harassment policy) are excluded from the grievance procedure because they are addressed under other policies.
Resources for Employees
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Iowa State University offers the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) as one of its employee benefits. The EAP gives you timely and free access to confidential, professional services when you are facing a personal problem. The goal is to help you find solutions before the problem affects your health or job performance. Iowa State works with Employee and Family Resources to provide you these services.
Informal Resolution Options
The Ombuds Office
The Ombuds Office assists Iowa State faculty, Professional and Scientific (P&S) employees, non-AFSCME Merit staff, and graduate and professional students with work-related problems. The Ombuds Officer acts as an informal problem-solver with an eye to resolving issues before they become formal grievances. All contacts with the Ombuds Officer are confidential.
The UHR Delivery Team is trained to help guide employees in their colleges and departments through HR processes.
Professional and Scientific Peer Advocacy Committee (P&S staff only)
The purpose of this committee is to provide a confidential means for an employee to obtain perspective and advice about employment concerns from peers familiar with the policies, practices, and procedures of the university. The committee also seeks to ensure that an employee is aware of his/her rights and obligations and is cognizant of the various processes available for resolution of such issues.
Equal Opportunity Office
Iowa State University's primary goal is to prevent discrimination and harassment and stop such behavior if it occurs. To that end, Iowa State University has adopted informal and formal processes through which discrimination and harassment complaints can be resolved. Contact the EO Office to learn more.
EO Office: (515) 294-7612
AFSCME Union Stewards
Organized Merit staff members are welcome to contact their union steward to seek advice.
University Human Resources, Employee and Labor Relations Office
The Employee and Labor Relations office is available to assist management and employees work through issues of conflict in the workplace.
An employee (Organized, Non-Organized, or P&S) may choose to file a grievance to attempt to resolve their concern. Both informal and formal options are available, with employees encouraged to first consider informal options. Whether filing an informal or formal grievance, employees should discuss their concerns with their immediate supervisor. If informal options (listed above) do not resolve your conflict, a formal grievance may be filed in an attempt to resolve a situation.
Formal Grievance Procedures and Forms
Faculty should refer to the Faculty Handbook for guidance on filing formal grievances.
Professional & Scientific