Jul 31, 2021  
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Policies

Human Resources


Employee Progressive Disciplinary Procedures
06:44:00 Employee Progressive Disciplinary Procedures

 

  1. Introduction
    1. The purpose of this procedure is to provide a mechanism for correcting unsatisfactory work performance or unacceptable job behavior, and to remove from the payroll the employee who does not correct his/her work performance or behavior. Unsatisfactory work performance/behavior includes, but is not limited to, the failure or refusal to carry out job responsibilities, to abide by college work rules, and/or to follow TBR/College policies and procedures.
  1. These procedures do not preclude the College Administration from skipping any or all of the steps if deemed warranted. These procedures do not constitute a contract and employment remains at an at-will relationship terminable at any time without cause.
  1. When disciplining an employee, supervisors should consider the nature of the offense, the past record of the offending employee, and penalties appropriate to the offense. The procedure may include the following steps.
    1. Counseling: When a pattern of unacceptable performance/behavior begins, the employee may be counseled as to the problem(s).
    2. Employee must be given a thorough description of the duties and tasks required for his/her position and expected standards of performance/ behavior.
    3. Supervisor must document the information discussed with the employee for department files with the employee's knowledge of this action. Documentation should include:
      1. 1. Name of employee.
      2. 2. Date and time of counseling.
      3. 3. Nature of offense and date(s) of occurrence.
      4. 3. Recommendation of supervisor to help employee correct problem(s).
      5. 3. Comments of employee concerning the problem.
      6. 4. Statements made to the employee concerning follow-up actions that may be required if the problem is not corrected.
      7. 5. Time frame given in which the problem should be resolved.
      8. 6. Written documentation of counseling should be signed and dated by both employee and supervisor with copies to the employee and personnel file.
  2. Verbal Warning

If there is a problem or reoccurrence of problem(s) requiring action stronger than counseling, the supervisor may consider a verbal warning.

  1. If not done previously, employee should be given a thorough description of the duties and tasks required for his/her position and expected standards of performance/behavior.
  2. The employee should be advised of the nature of the problem and any previous attempt(s) to resolve the problem. He/she should then be informed that he/she is receiving an official verbal warning. The verbal warning issued to the employee must be documented in writing and should include:
    1. Name of employee.
    2. Date and time of warning.
    3. Nature of offense, and date(s) of occurrence.
    4. Previous action(s) taken to resolve the problem(s).
    5. Specific action required from employee and reasonable period of time for the employee to take corrective action. This period must not extend beyond any period of probation the employee may be serving.
    6. Actions to be taken if the problem is not resolved or reoccurs during the time frame specified.
    7. Comments of employee concerning the problem.
    8. The right of the employee to discuss the problem with the person next in supervisory line.
    9. A statement that the employee was told that a copy of the verbal warning will be placed in the employee's personnel file in the Human Resources Department.
    10. Written documentation of verbal warning should be signed and dated by both employee and supervisor with copies to the employee, department file, and personnel file.
  3. Written Reprimand
    1. If there is a problem or reoccurrence of problem(s) requiring a stronger action, the supervisor may consider a written reprimand upon consultation with the Vice President and Director of Human Resources. A written reprimand should include the following.
      1. If not done previously, employee should be given a thorough description of the duties and tasks required for his/her position and expected standards of performance/behavior.
      2. The employee should be advised of the nature of the problem and any previous attempt(s) to resolve the problem. He/she should then be informed that he/she is receiving an official written reprimand. The written reprimand issued to the employee must be documented in writing and should include:
        1. Name of employee.
        2. Nature of offense and date(s) of occurrence.
        3. Previous action(s) taken to resolve the problem(s).
        4. Specific action required from the employee and reasonable period of time for the employee to take corrective action. This period must not extend beyond any period of probation the employee may be serving.
        5. Action(s) to be taken (such as recommendation of termination) if the problem is not resolved or reoccurs during the time frame specified.
        6. Comments of employee concerning the problem.
        7. The right of the employee to discuss this action with the person next in line of supervision.
        8. A statement that the employee was told that a copy of the written reprimand will be placed in the employee's personnel file in the Human Resources Department.
        9. Written documentation of written reprimand should be signed and dated by both employee and supervisor with copies to the employee, department file, and personnel file.
  4. Probation
    1. Employees may be placed on disciplinary probation (different from the initial six month probation for new hires/employees reclassified to a higher level position) at any time during their employment by a recommendation from the supervisor and approval of the Vice President and Director of Human Resources using the Personnel Action Form and supporting documentation. At the initiation of a disciplinary probationary period, the problem(s) resulting in the probation should be discussed with the employee, as well as the specific corrective action required from the employee during the probationary period. This must be documented and placed in the employee's personnel file with copies provided to the employee. During the probationary period, the employee may be terminated without notice.
    2. Following the probationary period, the employee continues to serve at the will of the President (see Tennessee Board of Regents Policy No. 5:01:00:00.S
  5. Suspension
    1. This action may be taken to impress upon the employee the serious nature of the unsatisfactory performance/behavior, and should be considered as a notice that the employee is facing possible termination if his/her performance/behavior continues to be unsatisfactory.
    2. The suspension must be documented and include the following:
      1. Name of employee.
      2. Nature of offense(s) and dates of occurrence.
      3. Previous action taken to resolve the problem(s).
      4. Whether the suspension is with or without pay.
      5. The terms under which the suspension will end, such as by a certain date, or upon specified actions being completed by the employee.
      6. Action(s) to be taken (such as recommendation of termination) if the problem is not resolved or reoccurs.
      7. Comments of the employee.
      8. The right of the employee to discuss the problem with the person next in supervisory line.
      9. A statement that the employee was told that a copy of the suspension document will be placed in the employee's personnel file in the Human Resources office.
      10. The documentation should be signed and dated by the employee and supervisor with copies to the employee and personnel file.
  6. Termination
    1. Failure to correct a deficiency during or by the end of a disciplinary probationary period may result in a recommendation of termination by the supervisor subject to approval by the Vice President and Director of Human Resources. The recommendation must be submitted to the President. Only the President may terminate the employment. A recommendation for termination is submitted by the supervisor using the Personnel Action Form and accompanying documentation. If the President approves the recommendation for termination, a letter of termination will be issued by the
    2. President to the employee giving the effective date of termination. If specified in the employee's employment contract, a minimum of fourteen (14) days notice for clerical/support personnel and thirty (30) days notice for administrative/professional personnel is required.
    3. In circumstances involving termination for cause, the termination date will be determined by the President. In the case of a recommendation of termination for cause (which includes gross misconduct), the Tennessee Code Annotated Section 49-8-117 requires an opportunity for a formal hearing under the Administrative Procedures Act when support staff are demoted or terminated "for cause".
    4. Gross misconduct may include, but is not necessarily limited to, any act or omission which may seriously disrupt or disturb the normal operation of the College; any work-related conduct which would subject the employee to criminal conviction; theft or dishonesty; gross insubordination; destruction of College property; falsification of records; acts of moral turpitude; reporting for duty under the influence of intoxicants; the illegal use, manufacture, possession, distribution or dispensing of controlled substances or alcohol on College property and/or while conducting College business; disorderly conduct; provoking a fight; and such other similar acts involving intolerable behavior by the employee.
    5. Faculty members are subject to discipline and may be terminated using the same considerations as are found above. However, if the cause for discipline appears to warrant consideration of termination, a determination should be made as to whether the matter will proceed under the Tennessee Board of Regents Policy No. 05:02:03:10 or Tennessee Board of Regents Policy No. 05:02:03:70 . The Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Director of Human Resources, and the Tennessee Board of Regents General Counsel's office must be consulted prior to initiation of any such action.
    6. In cases of termination, the supervisor or other authorized official, in the presence of the Director of Human Resources, must:
      1. Advise the employee, orally or in writing, of the issues resulting in the termination.
      2. Allow the employee the opportunity to verbally respond to these issues.
      3. If, after allowing the employee the opportunity to respond, it continues to appear that termination is appropriate, provide the employee with a written letter of termination (from the President).
      4. This meeting should be documented in the employee's personnel file.

Source: Approved at September, 1997 President's Cabinet meeting, Tennessee Board of Regents Policy Nos. 5:01:00:00, 05:02:03:10, 05:02:03:70, and Tennessee Code Annotated Section 49-8- 117.

Approved: Executive Staff, 05/20/09
Approved: President's Cabinet, 05/20/09
Approved: President, 05/20/09
Reviewed and Revised: Human Resources, November, 2008