Disciplinary Action(s) for AP Faculty in Lieu of Termination for Cause
Disciplinary action is a process, applicable to administrative and professional (AP) faculty, which the University uses to address unacceptable behavior, conduct, performance, and related employment problems in the workplace or outside the workplace when the conduct impacts the AP faculty member's ability to perform his or her job and/or influences the University's overall effectiveness. In cases where the severity of an offense by an AP faculty member does not meet the standard for termination as governed by the Administrative and Professional Faculty Policy, Section VI.B.4., or when mitigating factors are present, a disciplinary action less than termination of employment may be taken.
Disciplinary actions can be formal or informal. A progressive disciplinary approach is encouraged; however informal actions do not always have to precede formal actions. Some infractions may be serious enough to warrant formal discipline with a first occurrence.
A. Formal Actions
- Formal actions are used to address more severe or pervasive performance or conduct issues.
- The Department of Human Resources shall be consulted prior to administering formal discipline.
- Formal actions become a part of the employee's personnel record maintained by the Department of Human Resources.
- Formal actions may include letters of reprimand, demotion or suspension with or without pay.
Letters of Reprimand
A letter of reprimand is the official statement from the supervisor of a performance or conduct problem that the employee must improve. The letter of reprimand should include examples of the performance or conduct that is causing concern, action steps to correct the behavior and a statement of consequences if the behavior is not corrected.
An employee's job duties and responsibilities may be reduced as a result of improper conduct or poor performance. This reduction in job duties will also result in a reduction in salary. Salary reductions must be reviewed by Human Resources and approved by the appropriate vice president.
An AP faculty member may be sent away from the work area immediately under certain circumstances, with or without pay. These circumstances include, but are not limited to, situations where that person's continued presence:
(1) May be harmful to self or other employees;
(2) Makes it difficult for the University to execute its functions; or
(3) Could constitute negligence or misconduct in regard to the University's duties to the public, students, or other employees. In such cases, the AP faculty member shall be given notice of the charges and an explanation of the University's evidence as soon as possible thereafter. Supervisors shall consult with the Department of Human Resources prior to taking this action.
If the disciplinary action issued involves a suspension, the suspension may be partial, total, short-term or long-term, and may be with or without pay. However, as employees exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act, administrative and professional faculty must be suspended in increments of not less than full work weeks, e.g., 40 hours, 80 hours, 120 hours.
Formal Disciplinary Process:
- Prior to any formal disciplinary action, the AP faculty member's supervisor shall meet with him/her and provide written notice of the intended action with an explanation of the University's evidence in support of the charge.
- The AP faculty member must then respond to his/her supervisor within five workdays.
- Management action is contingent upon the AP faculty member's response.
- If disciplinary action is taken, the AP faculty member may access the grievance policy for administrative and professional faculty if the disciplinary action taken meets the definition of a grievance as stated in the grievance policy.
- An AP faculty member may be placed on administrative leave with pay or reassigned for any portion or the remainder of their appointment during an internal and/or external investigation or pending court action when the charges are job-related or of such a nature that to continue the employee in his or her assigned duties could constitute negligence on the part of the University. Upon completion of the investigation or court action, the AP faculty member may be reinstated or terminated.
B. Informal Actions
- Informal actions are used to address less severe performance or conduct issues and may be verbal or written.
- Informal actions are documented and maintained in the supervisor's departmental file.
Approved by the President
June 3, 2013