Conflict Resolution for Student Employment Issues

If you believe that you have been discriminated against or harassed because of your race, color, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or age, you should seek out the advice and assistance of the Human Resources Office.

Conflict Prevention

You may be able to reduce or prevent conflict by setting up a good dialog with your supervisor. Keep your supervisor informed about your work progress along with any other issues that may arise during your work experience. In addition, make sure that you understand your supervisor's expectations by asking questions when things do not seem clear so that you can determine if both you and your supervisor are in agreement.

Sometimes conflicts are inevitable, and we recognize that there is a power differential between a supervisor and an employee. If you have difficulty with the process outlined below, you can meet with the office of Student Employment, the CARE Team, or the Campus Grievance Officer to discuss your options and to get some coaching on how to work through the conflict resolution process.

Conflict Resolution

In the event a student employee feels unjustly treated with regard to pay, termination, or other employment-related circumstances, that student should follow the steps outlined below:

1. First, seek recourse directly with your supervisor. Be clear about your concerns and the desired outcome you would like to have. Below are some sample questions to help you clarify the situation before meeting with your supervisor.

  • Describe the incident in as much detail as you can. Dates of specific events are helpful.
  • How did you feel about what happened - at the time and now?
  • What was not acceptable to you about that interaction or situation?
  • What outcome would you like to have?
  • What are you willing to do to create an outcome that you would prefer?

This step must be completed within 30 days. Your employer has 5 working days to respond to your concerns.
Support for Step 1 is available through the Student Employment Office:

  • We can review your preparation and ensure you understand how to proceed in the meeting with your supervisor.
  • We can identify an advocate to help you prepare for your meeting with your supervisor.
  • We will review the conflict resolution process with you and make sure you understand the options available to you.
  • We can arrange for a facilitator for this meeting.

2. If you are unsatisfied with the meeting with your employer, you may ask the Associate Director of Student Employment/Financial Aid to review your case. This request must be made within 30 days of following Step 1. The Associate Director will ask you for:

  • A written summary of your concerns and events pertaining to them along with your desired outcome.
  • A meeting with you and with your employer, either separately or together, depending on your preference.

Based on the information presented by the student and the employer, the Director will conduct and investigation. The Associate Director will attempt to seek a mutually agreeable solution. If needed, the Associate Director may refer your case to the Grievance Officer.

Investigation procedures
When appropriate, the Associate Director of Student Employment/Financial Aid will conduct an investigation. An investigation consists of the following components:

  • The Associate Director of Student Employment/Financial Aid will talk to all stakeholders or other persons with information.
  • Information will be shared with parties in conflict as appropriate, so that those involved can make decisions.
  • Records and/or notes of information collected in an investigation are destroyed when the conflict is resolved or moved to another step in the process.

3. If a mutually agreeable solution or decision cannot be reached with the support of the Associate Director of Student Employment/Financial Aid and/or the Grievance Officer, the case may be referred for a hearing board or to binding arbitration. These options may be arranged by the Associate Director of Student Employment/Financial Aid at the request of the student employee.

Information on Grievance Procedures and how they work may be found in the Rights and Responsibilities booklet available form the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, or on line at Decisions of hearing board or arbitrator are final.

Support Persons

Either of the parties may choose to have a support person present with them during any or all of the meetings. The support person does not speak during the meetings; their role is to strictly provide support to the person with whom he or she came. In the case when a support person will be present, the Associate Director of Student Employment/Financial Aid must be informed in advance of the scheduled meeting so that the other party or parties to the meeting can be informed of the support person's presence in the meeting


As with all negotiations that rise to the level of intervention it is appropriate to keep the situation confidential. This includes not discussing or complaining about the situation to others outside of the situation and not having external discussions of the meetings or conversations while a mutually agreeable solution is trying to be reached.