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Support Staff Disciplinary Action Policy & Procedure

Policy

Applies to: University support staff

The University has rules governing personal conduct of employees. These rules do not preclude the establishment of additional rules by the individual departments.

Infraction of University or departmental rules shall be regarded as cause for disciplinary action.

All disciplinary action taken must be properly documented as described in the procedure outlined below. It is highly recommended that departments use the Notice of Non-Academic Disciplinary Action form.

The right to union representation during discussions exists where employees reasonably believe discipline may result. If the employee requests such representation, the employee must be allowed to be accompanied by a union representative at any stage of the disciplinary process. Requests for representation may be denied when the employee is assured no discipline will result from the discussion.

Types of disciplinary action:

  • Verbal warning - notification and warning to employee.
  • Written reprimand - formal notification in writing to employee.
  • Suspension - loss of work and wages for a specified number of hours or days.
  • Discharge - termination of employment.

Progressive discipline: The University promotes a policy of progressive or corrective discipline, i.e., discipline shall gradually increase depending upon the severity and/or frequency of the infractions.

Normally, disciplinary action begins with a verbal warning for the first offense and culminates with discharge only after repeated attempts to correct employee's behavior have failed.

Serious infractions may warrant immediate imposition of a written reprimand, suspension or discharge, as appropriate.

Determination of action: Supervision will determine the action appropriate to the infraction up to and including termination, considering the severity of the offense, mitigating circumstances, previous infractions, etc.

Assistance in determining the appropriate action may be received through MSU Human Resources Employee Relations.

Approval for discharge must be obtained from MSU Human Resources Employee Relations and Human Resource Services in advance.

Appeals of discipline: Grievance procedures are detailed in individual Collective Bargaining Agreements.

A University grievance procedure is available to those employees not covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Procedure

Investigation (verbal warning, written reprimand, suspension):

Supervisor:

  • Investigate facts surrounding cause for possible disciplinary action.
  • Review employment record.
  • Prior to taking disciplinary action, particularly in cases involving suspension or discharge, the matter should be discussed with MSU Human Resources Employee Relations.
  • Meet with employee prior to determination of action to be taken. Arrange for union representative to be present, if requested by employee.
  • Determine an appropriate action following progressive discipline, where appropriate.
  • If verbal warning, written reprimand, suspension, or discharge is to be imposed, see appropriate procedure outlined below.

Disciplinary action - verbal warning:

Supervisor:

  • Meet with employee to discuss his/her action(s) which may be cause for discipline.
  • Notify employee of right to representation, and allow for union representative to be present at disciplinary interview if requested by employee.
  • Inform employee of specific problem.
  • Tell employee how behavior can be improved and what is expected.
  • Warn employee that failure to correct behavior will result in further disciplinary action.
  • The department should process Notice of Non-Academic Disciplinary Action form, noting the action taken. (For a notation of a verbal warning, only complete Section I specifying why the disciplinary action was taken.)

Disciplinary action - written reprimand:
Supervisor:

  • Meet with employee to discuss his/her action(s) which may be cause for discipline.
  • Notify employee of right to representation, and allow for union representative to be present at disciplinary interview if requested by employee.
  • Inform employee of specific problem.
  • If investigation produces cause for discipline, prepare Notice of Non-Academic Disciplinary Action form. Include the following:
    • indicate it is a written reprimand,
    • a statement of the problem including specific reasons for the reprimand,
    • a summary of previous discussions and/or discipline, if any,
    • a summary of what corrective action is expected of employee, and
    • a warning that failure to correct behavior will result in further disciplinary action, up to and including discharge/termination.
  • Meet with employee to present written reprimand, and notify employee of right to representation. Allow for union representative to be present if requested by employee.
  • Discuss written reprimand with employee. Sign written reprimand and ask employee to sign acknowledging receipt. If employee does not wish to sign, so indicate.
  • Distribute original and copies as set forth on the Notice of Non-Academic Disciplinary Action form.

Disciplinary action - suspension:
Supervisor:

  • Meet with employee to discuss his/her action(s) which may be cause for discipline.
  • Notify employee of right to representation, and allow for union representative to be present at disciplinary interview if requested by employee.
  • Inform employee of specific problem.
  • Contact MSU Human Resources Employee Relations for assistance in determination that suspension is appropriate disciplinary action.
  • If investigation produces cause for action, prepare Notice of Non-Academic Disciplinary Action form. Include the following:
    • indicate employee is suspended from duty,
    • a statement of the problem, including specific reasons for suspension,
    • a summary of previous discussions and/or discipline, if any,
    • a summary of what corrective behavior is expected of employee, and
    • a warning that failure to correct behavior will result in "further disciplinary action up to and including discharge."
  • The section on "Future infraction(s) may result in" is to be completed only when an employee is receiving a disciplinary suspension without pay. If an employee is being suspended without pay pending an investigation, the Notice of Suspension Pending Investigation form is to be used. Do not use the Notice of Non-Academic Disciplinary Action form to place an employee on suspension pending an investigation.
  • Meet with employee to present suspension. Notify employee of right to representation, and allow for union representative to be present if requested by employee.
  • Discuss suspension with employee. Sign the suspension and ask employee to sign acknowledging receipt. If employee does not wish to sign, so indicate.
  • Distribute original and copies as set forth on the Disciplinary Action form.
  • Notify MSU Human Resource Records or Payroll Office as follows:
    • for hourly employees, no time is submitted to Payroll Office on labor time report, or
    • for salaried employees, circle the personnel action codes for leave of absence/suspension, indicate that the leave/suspension is without pay, and submit the Personnel Action Notice (PAN) form to MSU Human Resources Information Systems. The PAN form should be accompanied by the Notice of Non-Academic Disciplinary Action form.

Disciplinary action - discharge:
Supervisor:

  • Meet with employee to discuss his/her action(s) which may be cause for discharge.
  • Notify employee of right to representation, and allow for union representative to be present at disciplinary interview if requested by employee.
  • Contact MSU Human Resources Employee Relations for approval of discharge.
  • Prepare PAN form, sign and obtain signature of departmental administrator, and hand-carry to MSU Human Resource Records. MSU Human Resource Records will prepare authorization slip for immediate, final paycheck. Supervisor hand-carries authorization slip to Payroll Office and receives employee's final paycheck. (Paycheck may be delayed one business day if request is received by Payroll Office too late to process.)
  • Meet with employee to explain discharge. Notify employee of right to representation, and allow for union representative to be present if requested by employee.
  • Discuss the discharge with employee. Sign Notice of Non-Academic Disciplinary Action form and ask employee to sign acknowledging receipt. If employee does not wish to sign, so indicate. (NOTE: If the employee is unavailable, a notice of discharge letter is to be mailed to the employee's last address of record by Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested.)
  • Include the following:
    • indicate employee is discharged,
    • a statement of problem including specific reasons for the discharge, and
    • a summary of previous discussions and/or disciplinary action(s).

Refer questions to: MSU Human Resources Employee Relations (telephone 517-353-5510, e-mail)


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