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Resolving Workplace Issues

Workplace issues can detract from your success and fulfillment as a Stanford employee. You are encouraged to seek information and resources to resolve workplace issues.

Formal and informal approaches to resolving workplace issues are available.


Discuss the issue with someone who is neutral, to gain perspective or ideas about how to approach the issue. Options include:

  • The Faculty Staff Help Center
  • The Ombuds (Ombudsperson in the School of Medicine)
  • A friend or co-worker whose opinion you trust and who is not in the current work group

If the issue involves another co-worker and you want to talk with that person, address the topic using behavioral terms. Use "I" messages to discuss behaviors you have observed or experienced, how the behaviors make you feel, and how you're hoping to work together moving forward.

NOTE: If the workplace issue includes sexual harassment, prohibited sexual conduct, consensual sexual relationships or Title IX Administrative Policy and Procedures, the matter may be formally reported. You can also talk with Sexual Harassment Prevention Office (SHPO) staff directly at any time about a sexual harassment issue; you may wish to review  the Consultant and Advice information on the SHPO website.


A formal approach to a workplace issue could include:

  • Discussing the issue with your human resources manager. That person may get counsel from Employee & Labor Relations in University Human Resources and/or the Office of General Counsel to identify options to resolve the issue, or may help you by giving you some coaching on how to proceed.
  • For faculty, discussing the issue with your Faculty Affairs Officer; that person may get counsel from various offices that support an effective workplace.
  • If you decide to pursue filing a formal complaint and are eligible to do so, there are procedures in place that are intended to supplement, not replace, routine and informal methods of responding to—and resolving—employee complaints.

Regular Non-Academic Staff Procedures

These policies and process apply to regular staff employees after completion of Trial Period:

During a regular staff employee's Trial Period, these policies apply:

Faculty Procedures

Faculty members may wish to speak with their Chair, Associate Dean, Dean or others in the school who have a role related to resolving workplace issues. The Faculty Affairs Office in the Provost's Office is your resource; you may also wish to consult the Faculty Handbook to review any applicable policies.

In addition, these references include information for specific groups: Handbook for Academic Council Faculty, Medical Center Line Faculty, Academic Staff-Teaching and Other Teaching Staff. Chapter 4: Statement on Faculty Appeal Procedures.

Academic Staff Procedures

Academic Staff may wish to consult with your school's Human Resources manager. Policies are set forth in Chapter 6 of the Faculty Handbook: Academic Staff-Teaching: Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, Artists-in-Residence: Appointment Polices and Procedures.

In addition, these reference guides are available:

Bargaining Unit Staff Procedures

If you are a staff member in a bargaining unit job, the grievance procedures are addressed in the current collective bargaining contract. Visit Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining.

Temporary and Casual Employees

This policy and process applies to temporary and casual employees (and regular employees during your Trial Period):