The university intends its disciplinary procedures to be administered consistently, and in a manner that is intended to be corrective. Generally, the university believes discipline should be progressive; however, serious misconduct and work performance problems, or violation of laws and/or university policies, procedures, and practices may warrant disciplinary action, up to and including termination, outside of the corrective, progressive approach that is outlined below. In making its disciplinary decisions, the university may consider such factors as the seriousness of the misbehavior, the past record of the employee, and other applicable circumstances. Each circumstance requiring discipline is different, and each will be dealt with as the university, in its sole discretion, determines is necessary and appropriate.
Because identifying employee performance problems and/or inappropriate behavior, and the appropriate and most effective means of resolving them, can be complex and require a variety of considerations, supervisors are expected to consult with the human resources department prior to issuing a written reprimand. Supervisors are not authorized to discharge or threaten to discharge employees without the approval of the vice president in charge of their department and the director of human resources.
We intend the following list only as a guide to both the employee and his or her supervisor when considering the possible consequences of misconduct.
• Verbal Reprimand: A verbal reprimand may be sufficient to correct a staff member's first time and/or minor misconduct.
• Written Reprimand: If a verbal reprimand has not been effective in correcting an offense or if the offense demands stronger disciplinary action than a verbal reprimand, the employee may receive a written reprimand. A copy will be placed in the employee’s personnel file.
• Disciplinary Suspension: When a reprimand is insufficient, a disciplinary suspension without pay may be imposed. The university will determine the length of the suspension in its sole discretion.
• Disciplinary suspensions of hourly staff members: These suspensions are unpaid and, generally, range from one to three consecutive workdays in duration. In cases of severe infractions, longer suspensions may be given and scheduled at the discretion of the supervisor.
• Disciplinary suspension of administrative staff members: The Fair Labor Standards Act sets stipulations on the suspension of exempt staff member without pay. The human resources office needs to assess every recommendation for suspension of an exempt staff member against the regulations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
• Termination from Employment: In serious cases, the university may choose to terminate the employee from employment, rather than to impose a reprimand or suspension.
Staff should be aware that the university will not tolerate certain acts and behaviors that are unproductive or detrimental to the university. Staff are expected to abide by the university's Code of Conduct. The code is not comprehensive and does not alter the employment-at-will relationship between the employee and the university. Regardless of anything contained herein, an employee may be terminated with or without cause and with or without notice at any time.
Supervisors who need assistance in dealing with a disciplinary issue or who would like further information about the university's disciplinary processes should contact the Human Resources department.