HR55 – Employee Dispute Resolution, Grievances, & Discipline [DRAFT]

Records of dispute resolution, grievances, and disciplinary processes for University faculty and staff.

This records class includes Personal Information Banks.

Related Records | Responsible Unit | Information Steward | Information Confidentiality Classification | Retention | Disposition | Authority | Retention Rationale | Other Units with Copies | Personal Information BanksVersion Information

Content & Scope

The University’s approach to investigating and resolving faculty and staff disputes, grievances, and cases of misconduct (or other grounds for discipline) is governed by the agreements, policies and guidelines listed below in the Authority section.

A record of disciplinary action taken by the University in response to employee misconduct or other grounds for discipline becomes part of the employee’s official employment file.

This records class excludes: faculty member appeals of tenure and promotion decisions; legal proceedings such as litigation and statutory tribunal hearings; human rights related complaints and investigations.

The records include: complaints and allegations; investigation records and reports; for staff, notes regarding oral warnings, and copies of written warnings; disciplinary decisions, letters, responses, and supporting documentation; records of tribunals and investigation committees, including submissions, meeting notes, audio-recordings of hearings, decisions and reports; arbitration records, settlement agreements and associated awards; and, related correspondence.

Related Records

  • For appeals of tenure and promotion decisions, see HR30 – Tenure & Promotion.
  • For records relating to legal proceedings arising from disputes, grievances, or disciplinary action, see AD80 – Legal Services & Litigation.
  • For records of human rights complaints and investigations, see HS10 – Human Rights, Equity & Inclusion.

Responsible Unit

  • Secretariat.
  • Human Resources.
  • Office of Research.
  • Vice-President, Academic & Provost.

Information Steward

  • Vice-President, Research & International, for investigations of alleged research misconduct by staff.
  • Associate Provost, Human Resources, for all other records.

Information Confidentiality Classification



  • External arbitration awards or settlements, decisions of internal tribunals, and, for cases settled without arbitration or tribunal, the decision and any other records deemed necessary to understand the case: Permanent.
  • Discipline records added to employment files:
    • Staff: 2 years (24 months) after last disciplinary action, subject to exceptions as specified in Policy 18, Appendix F (“Employment File”) and Article 18.5 of the C.U.P.E. agreement.
    • Faculty: 3 years after last disciplinary action, or after conclusion of the investigation if no disciplinary action is taken. If the grounds for disciplinary action included harassment, discrimination, or other verbally, physically, or psychologically abusive behaviour, the records may be retained for 10 years by the Office of the Provost according to the provisions of Policy 75, Appendix A.
  • All other records: 3 years after last action on the case.


Audio-recordings of investigative committee and tribunal hearings must be securely destroyed once the decision on the case has been rendered.


Secure Destruction.


Responsible Units should document the disposal/destruction of official records using the University records destruction form or equivalent documentation, to verify that we are following our records retention rules.


  • Memorandum of Agreement between the Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo and the University of Waterloo, Article 9.
  • Union Agreement between the University of Waterloo and the Canadian Union of Public Employees C.L.C. Local 793, Articles 16 and 17.
  • Policy 18 – Staff Employment.
  • Policy 33 – Ethical Behaviour.
  • Policy 36 – Dispute Resolution for University Support Staff.
  • Integrity in Research Administrative Guidelines.

Retention Rationale

The retention period is based on legal advice, requirements of the University’s policies and employee-group agreements, and the limitation periods under the Ontario Limitations Act, 2002.

Other Units with Copies

  • Other units involved in the dispute or grievance.
  • Members of tribunals and investigative committees.

Retention of Copies

Until the decision on the case has been rendered.

Disposition of Copies

Secure Destruction.

Personal Information Banks

Dispute resolution, grievance, and discipline case records are personal information banks, and may contain: name, names of other parties to case, third party opinions about the individual, individual's own views or opinions, reprimands, decisions and agreements.

Under Review Date

16 March 2020

Previous Version

26 October 2011

(This records retention schedule replaces HR43 – Discipline (Faculty) Case Files, HR45 – Discipline (Staff) Case Files, and HR48 – Dispute Resolution and Grievances)