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Progressive discipline measures may be utilized in an attempt to correct deficiencies in workplace conduct and behavior. All disciplinary actions should be by constructive, consistent measures and never used as a punitive reaction to employee behavior. In leading by example, supervisors need to be aware of their own conduct, attitude, and work habits.
Disciplinary actions may include oral counseling, written reprimand, suspension and/or dismissal. An employee should be informed of a violation of University policies or rules and given the opportunity to improve before being dismissed, unless the seriousness of the conduct or rule violation calls for immediate action. Supervisors should always inform employees of the time frame for expected improvements. An explanation of the level of discipline that may be used to correct employee behavior follows:
Counseling or Oral WarningCounseling or oral warnings may be issued to correct minor deficiencies in conduct. The conversation should include thorough review of the problem area, what is expected of the employee and why, as well as an explanation to the employee of how expectations for employee conduct have not been met. The employee should be given an opportunity to explain the reasons for the conduct, and offered suggestions for improvement.
It is recommended that a written record of the counseling or oral warning session be made. This record should be retained by the supervisor at the departmental level.
Written ReprimandA written reprimand may be issued due to the seriousness of an offense or if prior counseling has not produced the desired result. The written notice must:
The employee should be asked to sign the written reprimand, acknowledging receipt and understanding. In the event an employee refuses or prefers not to sign the document, appropriate notation should be made and initialed by the supervisor.
An employee should be allowed to explain their actions and may provide a written response to the written reprimand. Both documents will be sent to the employee's personnel file. It is not necessary that the disciplinary action be held pending the receipt of the employees comments.
SuspensionA suspension may be issued if repetition of an offense occurs for which a written reprimand has been given, or if a violation of rules or policies occurs that is serious but for which dismissal is not appropriate.
Prior to suspension, the department chair must give authorization for such action unless the seriousness of the conduct or rule violation calls for immediate action. Human Resources should be contacted to review the circumstances surrounding an infraction that may involve suspension.
The written notice must:
The employee should be asked to sign the suspension, acknowledging receipt and understanding. In the event, an employee refuses or prefers not to sign the document, appropriate notation should be made and initialed by the supervisor. A copy of the University grievance policy should be provided to the employee.
An employee should be allowed to explain their actions and may provide a written response to the suspension. Both documents will be sent to the employee's personnel file. It is not necessary that the suspension action be held pending the receipt of the employee’s comments.
DismissalAn employee may be dismissed for repeated misconduct or rules violation. Serious offenses may be cause for immediate dismissal.
The written notice must be labeled as notice of dismissal and state disciplinary steps relating to any prior violation of policy and/or rules, misconduct or other actions necessitating dismissal. The employee should be asked to sign the notice of dismissal to acknowledge receipt. In the event, an employee refuses or prefers not to sign the document, appropriate notation should be made and initialed by the supervisor. A copy of the University grievance policy should be provided to the employee.
In addition to disciplinary procedures, in any matters involving theft or unauthorized use of University equipment or property, or other misappropriation of University assets, which may not be limited to cash, equipment or supplies, the supervisor must contact either the Division of Human Resources or University Police, who will after consulting with each other and reviewing the facts determine whether possible criminal prosecution will be made.
For detailed information, refer to HR 1.39, Disciplinary Action and Termination for Cause.
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