Performance Improvement/Discipline

This policy on discipline has been created to encourage the use of informal counseling and progressive disciplinary measures to correct unsatisfactory job performance or misconduct. The policy applies to all regular staff members at the University. Staff members are expected to consistently meet and maintain the established performance expectations for the position.

Nothing contained in this policy is intended to alter the at-will employment relationship between the University and its employees or to create legally enforceable contractual rights.

Disciplinary or corrective action for unsatisfactory job performance or misconduct is normally imposed on a progressive basis and in consultation with a representation of the Division of Human Resources/Staff and Labor Relations. Steps may be omitted or repeated depending on the frequency, severity and/or nature of performance or misconduct exhibited. Progressive discipline or corrective action may not be imposed in situations involving serious misconduct. Cases of serious misconduct could result in termination of employment.

The normal procedure to follow when disciplining an employee is outlined below.

621.1 ORAL WARNING

The initial step in the application of progressive discipline is the oral warning and discussion. The supervisor must meet with the staff member to discuss the unsatisfactory performance or misconduct, and outline the appropriate corrective action. The staff member should be informed that this is the first step in the disciplinary process and that failure to correct the performance or misconduct may result in further disciplinary action. The supervisor should keep a written record that an oral warning has been given and what corrective action was discussed with the staff member. A copy of this document should be shared with the staff member.

621.2 WRITTEN WARNING

The second step in the disciplinary process is the written warning and discussion. The supervisor, in consultation with a representative of DHR/Staff and Labor Relations, initiates a written warning and discussion. The written warning document to the staff member specifies:

(a) the unsatisfactory performance or misconduct; (b) the corrective action to be taken by the staff member; (c) notice that continued unsatisfactory performance or misconduct may result in further disciplinary action, including termination of employment.

When the staff member is given the written warning, the supervisor should discuss the problem with the staff member. A copy of the warning is forwarded to DHR/Staff and Labor Relations for inclusion in the staff member’s official personnel record and the staff member is so advised.

The staff member should be advised that he/she may request counseling with a Staff Relations Specialist concerning the problems with performance or conduct.

621.3 PROBATION

If unacceptable performance or misconduct continues or recurs, the supervisor, in consultation with a representative of DHR/Staff and Labor Relations, may place the staff member on probation. The supervisor should give the staff member a document which outlines:

(a) the unsatisfactory performance or misconduct; (b) the corrective action to be taken by the staff member; (c) the period of time in which to demonstrate acceptable performance (see below); (d) the date of the follow-up review; (e) notice that continued unsatisfactory performance or misconduct may result in termination of employment; (f) the name and telephone number of the Staff Relations Specialist assigned to that unit or school.

Note: The length of the probation period should be determined in consultation with a representative of DHR/Staff and Labor Relations.

When the staff member is given the probationary letter, the supervisor should discuss the problem with the staff member. A copy of the probationary letter is forwarded to DHR/Staff and Labor Relations for inclusion in the staff member’s official personnel record and the staff member is so advised.

During the probationary period, the supervisor should make every effort to assist the staff member in attaining the desired level of performance or conduct.

621.4 TERMINATION

If during, at the conclusion of, or subsequent to the probationary period, the staff member’s performance or conduct is still unacceptable, the supervisor, in consultation with a representative of DHR/Staff and Labor Relations, will determine if termination is appropriate. The decision to terminate will be based on a review of the facts and circumstances, the documentation and whether or not University policy has been followed. If the decision is made to terminate, the supervisor should give the staff member a letter outlining the reason for the termination and the effective date of the termination.

This policy does not apply in situations involving serious misconduct, including, but not limited to, criminal behavior, assault, insubordination, misappropriation of funds, harassment, discrimination, etc. It is imperative that DHR/Staff and Labor Relations or the Vice President for Human Resources (or designee) is contacted in such cases.

621.5 UNIONIZED EMPLOYEES

University employees who are covered by collective bargaining agreements should refer to the appropriate contract article.
 


Policy Number: 621
Effective Date: 5/17/1999
Supersedes Policy Number(s): 621 (02/01/1990)
Applicability: All Regular Staff Members
Cross-reference: Policy 001Policy 002Policy 003Policy 622Policy 623Policy 629Policy 701, Policy 705Policy 706,Policy 714


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