Disciplinary Process

Corrective actions, whether informal or formal, must depend upon the nature, consequence(s), or potential consequence(s) of the employee's conduct or performance and surrounding circumstances and mitigating factors, if any.  Supervisors and Managers should apply corrective actions consistently.  Prior to taking any corrective action, you need to identify what policy or process is appropriate based on the employee category.  Supervisors and managers must consult with the Office of Human Resources for guidance and assistance before taking any formal corrective actions.  

Operational and Classified Employees:

Applicable Policy:  DHRM Standards of Conduct Policy 1.60

The disciplinary process typically involves the use of increasingly significant measures to provide feedback to employees so they may correct conduct or performance problems.  It is designed to encourage employees to become fully contributing members and to enable supervisors/managers to fairly, and with reliable documentation, terminate employees who are unable or unwilling to improve their conduct and or job performance.

Counseling is typically the first level of corrective action but is not a required precursor to the issuance of Written Notices.  Counseling may be informal (verbal) or formal (written) communication which conveys that an employee’s conduct or performance was improper and must be corrected.

Counseling may be documented by a letter or memorandum, but not on a Written Notice form.  Documentation regarding counseling should be retained in the supervisor’s file.

Written Notices are issued when counseling has failed to correct misconduct or performance problems, or when an employee commits a more serious offense.  A Written Notice may be accompanied by additional actions including:

  • a suspension;
  • a demotion or transfer with reduced responsibilities with a disciplinary salary action;
  • a transfer to an equivalent position in a different work area;
  • or termination, as described in the Standards of Conduct, Sub-Sections a, b, and c.

Offenses are organized into three groups according to the severity of the misconduct or behavior.  Examples of offenses, by group, are presented in Attachment A.  These examples are not all-inclusive but are intended as examples of conduct for which specific disciplinary actions may be warranted.

  • Group I Offense – offenses in this category include acts of minor misconduct that require formal disciplinary action.  This level is appropriate for repeated acts of minor misconduct or for first offenses that have a relatively minor impact on business operations but still require formal intervention.
  • Group II Offense - Offenses in this category include acts of misconduct of a more serious and/or repeat nature that requires formal disciplinary action. This level is appropriate for offenses that significantly impact business operations and/or constitute neglect of duty, insubordination, the abuse of state resources, violations of policies, procedures, or laws.
  • Group III Offense - Offenses in this category include acts of misconduct of such a severe nature that a first occurrence normally should warrant termination. This level is appropriate for offenses that, for example, endanger others in the workplace, constitute illegal or unethical conduct; neglect of duty; disruption of the workplace; or other serious violations of policies, procedures, or laws.

The above information is a portion of the process outlined in the DHRM Standards of Conduct Policy 1.60.  Supervisors and Managers are encouraged to review the policy for a thorough understanding of the process.

Hourly Employees:

The disciplinary process typically involves the use of increasingly significant measures to provide feedback to employees so they may correct conduct or performance problems.  It is designed to encourage employees to become fully contributing members and to enable supervisors/managers to fairly, and with reliable documentation, terminate employees who are unable or unwilling to improve their conduct and or job performance.

Counseling is typically the first level of corrective action but is not a required precursor to the issuance of disciplinary action up to and including termination.  Counseling may be informal (verbal) or formal (written) communication which conveys that an employee’s conduct or performance was improper and must be corrected.

Counseling may be documented by a letter or memorandum.  Documentation regarding counseling should be retained in the supervisor’s file.  Hourly employees are not covered under the Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) Standards of Conduct Policy 1.60, and therefore, Written Notice forms may not be issued to these employees.

Supervisors and Managers should consult with the Office of Human Resources for guidance on handling corrective actions.

Probationary Employees:

Applicable Policy: Probationary Period Policy for Operational Employees

For employees who are newly employed into salaried operational positions, including employees transferring from other State institutions or agencies, and for current employees promoted into supervisory operational positions, an introductory, or probationary period of employment is provided.  During the probationary period, probationary employees may be terminated at any time regardless of performance.

Probationary employees may be terminated at the College’s discretion at any time during the probationary period for any legitimate, non-discriminatory reason, without access to the State Grievance Procedure. An interim or formal performance evaluation is not necessary prior to termination, and an employee can be terminated for performance or other reasons at any time, including prior to the end of any scheduled review period. Supervisors must contact the Office of Human Resources for assistance in termination actions. Employees may be allowed to resign during their probationary periods rather than being terminated. Termination or resignation will be documented by letter or memorandum. Copies will be:

  • provided to the employee and,
  • placed in the employee’s personnel record.