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Guidelines for University Employees Called to Testify in a Staff Dispute

The University of Arizona provides a process for classified staff employees to appeal or dispute many employment-related actions. This process, called the Staff Dispute Resolution Procedure, involves a series of steps that allow employee disputes to be reviewed at various departmental/college levels. At the fourth and final step, the employee and the department representative present their cases either to a neutral third-party review officer or to a panel of employees from the Staff Dispute Resolution Committee. During these proceedings, the parties may decide to call University employees to testify regarding issues related to the dispute. The University of Arizona expects all employees called to testify to appear and provide truthful testimony in these proceedings. In fact, this is a condition of employment, as stated in the Staff Dispute Resolution Procedure, Classified Staff Policy 406:

As a condition of employment, all University employees must appear and offer testimony at any University administrative hearing to which they are called as a witness by either party to the dispute or by the University, unless the Hearing Officer determines that the witness's testimony is not relevant to the issues to be addressed at the hearing or that it is unreasonably burdensome for the witness to appear at the date and time specified.

As such, employees are expected to

  1. Be available on the date(s) of the proceedings
  2. When called, appear promptly
  3. Provide truthful testimony
  4. Notify their supervisor in advance, whenever possible, that they may be called to testify

The policy also prohibits employees from being harassed, intimidated, or threatened with any adverse action for doing their duty to appear at dispute proceedings when requested:

No person shall use or threaten to use their official authority to influence in any manner or to discourage the use of this procedure, nor shall any reprisal or retaliation result from an employee's use of the Staff Dispute Resolution Procedure.

University employees named as witnesses in a staff dispute can expect

  1. to be contacted in advance by the party requesting their appearance, if possible.
  2. to be asked to provide a telephone number where they may be reached at any time during the scheduled date(s) of the proceedings.
  3. to be notified, generally by telephone, when they are called to provide testimony.
  4. to be released from work, with pay, to attend the proceedings.