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University Policy Office

Shelly G. Gonzalez, Policy Officer
Administration 208
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660.543.4730
Fax: 660.543.8022
sgonzalez@ucmo.edu





PROGRESSIVE DISCIPLINE PROCEDURES

Approval: Revised and approved by the President on February 22, 2007

Authority: Board of Governors Policy 1.2.040

Responsibility: Office of Human Resources

PROCEDURE

I. Definition and Explanation of Progressive Discipline

Progressive discipline is a process which assists employees in meeting expectations. Discipline corrects unacceptable behavior, and attempts to prevent further infractions. If problems can be discussed and resolved informally, the need to use progressive discipline may be avoided. Discussing a situation or incident with an employee does not necessarily indicate or require the commencement of progressive discipline. The following procedures apply to regular full-time and regular part-time staff members.

Progressive discipline is the application of discipline in a series of steps that gradually increase in severity as an employee progresses through the steps. The number of steps may vary, each step may be repeated along the way, and steps may be skipped, depending on the situation involved. Supervisors need to consider the severity of the offense, the previous record of the employee, the lapse of time since the last disciplinary action, and the departmental and institutional practices in dealing with previous cases related to discipline. An employee’s past record does not have to include a prior offense of the same type to be issued a severe warning. A combination of several different minor offenses that happen within a short time frame may warrant a more severe disciplinary action than would be given for only one minor infraction. A single incident, if adequately serious, could warrant termination.

  1. Oral Warnings – Normally used for the first minor infraction. Written evidence of the oral warning shall be placed in the employee’s departmental file noting the date and cause for the warning.

  2. Written Warnings – Normally used for:

    1. a repeat of a minor infraction for which the employee has previously been orally warned;

    2. several minor infractions occurring within a short time preceded by a minor infraction for which the employee has previously been orally warned; or

    3. the first incident of a major infraction.

  3. Suspensions – Employees may be suspended without pay as a disciplinary measure for a period of 1-30 calendar days. Suspensions are normally used for:

    1. recurrences of habitual minor infractions or several major infractions preceded by an infraction for which the employee has recently received oral and/or written warnings; or

    2. the first act representing a gross, serious, or significant violation, without the prior benefit of either an oral or written warning.

  4. Termination – Terminations occur for serious infractions or when progressive measures have not corrected the unacceptable behavior.

II. Employee’s Recourse

Employees choosing to appeal disciplinary action shall utilize the same process outlined in the "Grievance Procedure."

Employees recommended for termination may appeal their termination by requesting a review of circumstances, events and documentation leading up to the termination so long as they have not previously been reviewed through the grievance process.

A. Terminated employees (“complainant”) must file an appeal within five (5) business days of termination to the director of human resources (“director”). Complainants are required to file a completed "Termination Appeal Request Form."

B. Review Schedule- The director will set a date, time and location for a review and will inform the complainant, supervisor who initiated the action (“supervisor”) and the general counsel in writing. Sufficient time will be provided for the complainant and the supervisor to prepare.

C. Evidence- The complainant and supervisor will each provide the director with copies of documents and physical evidence intended to be considered for review no later than three (3) business days prior to the scheduled review. Materials submitted late may or may not be considered at the discretion of the director.

D. Review Procedures- The director will decide all procedural questions. This may include, but is not limited to, the relevance of evidence presented.

  1. The director may receive any evidence that in the discretion of the director may be helpful regardless of whether such evidence would be admissible in a court of law.

  2. The attendance of the complainant and supervisor during the scheduled review will be at the discretion of the director. The director may review the termination solely on evidence submitted in the form of documents and physical evidence.

  3. The director may ask questions of any person present during the review.

  4. The review will be closed to the public as permitted by Chapter 610 RSMo (The Sunshine Law).

  5. The Department of Human Resources will retain all documents and/or other evidence considered by the director in reaching his or her decision permanently.

  6. The Department of Human Resources will retain all documents submitted as evidence even if rejected by the director permanently.

E. Statement of Director- The Director will decide whether or not university policy or procedure has been violated based upon evidence received and information presented during the review.

  1. The director will prepare a written statement that should include the decision of the director and a summary of the evidence and/or information relied upon to reach the decision. The statement will contain all findings of fact and conclusions regarding the decision of the director to affirm or reverse the termination at issue.

  2. The written findings of the director will be provided to the appropriate vice president and general counsel, with copies sent to the Department of Human Resources within seven (7) business days of the review.

  3. The complainant will receive notification of the findings and decision of the director within three (3) business days of the vice president receiving the director’s statement.

  4. The supervisor will receive notification of the findings and decision of the director within three (3) business days of the vice president receiving the director’s statement.

F. Appeal of Complainant- If the complainant is not satisfied with the decision, a written appeal may be filed with the appropriate vice president within two (2) business days of receipt of statement. The vice president may concur with the decision or convene a new review. The vice president will provide a final decision as soon as reasonably possible to the complainant with copies to the supervisor, the director, the general counsel and the Department of Human Resources. The appropriate vice president’s decision shall be final.

G. Appeal of Supervisor-. If the supervisor is not satisfied with the decision, a written appeal may be filed with the appropriate vice president within two (2) business days of receipt of statement. The vice president may concur with the decision or convene a new review. The vice president will provide a final decision as soon as reasonably possible to the complainant with copies to the supervisor, the director, the general counsel and the Department of Human Resources. The appropriate vice president’s decision shall be final.

H. Closure- If no appeal is made, the Director will notify all parties that the review is closed.

III. Progressive Discipline Guidelines Table

Progressive discipline generally takes the following course, preceded when appropriate by informal counseling. Types of conduct included are not all inclusive. The following table is provided to serve as a guide when administering progressive discipline.

Explanation of Abbreviations:
VR = Verbal Reprimand
WR = Written Reprimand
S = Suspension
D = Discharge
Up to D = Up to and Including Discharge

Offense
1st *
2nd*
3rd *
4th*
1.
Willful damage of University Property.
Up to D
2.
Theft of property from University or other employees.
Up to D
3.
Violating University's Discrimination/Harassment Policy.
Up to D
4.
Insubordination.
Up to D
5.
Removal of University records or release of confidential information.
Up to D
6.
Falsification of University records or documents
Up to D
7.
Unauthorized possession of explosives, firearms, or other dangerous weapons on University property.
Up to D
8.
Fighting or conduct which threatens the health or safety of other persons
Up to D
9.
Verbal abuse to include verbal or physical threatening/intimidating behavior.
Up to D
10.
Sleeping on duty.
Up to D
11.
Horesplay.
Up to D
12.
Infraction of safety rules and equipment operating procedures.
Up to D
13.
Absence from place of duty without authorization from immediate supervisor.
VR
WR
S
D
14.
Unauthorized use of University equipment, for example: telephones, copy machines, computers.
VR
WR
S
D
15.
Failure to follow specified job instructions or written work procedures.
VR
WR
S
D
16.
Abuse of break periods or other inappropriate use of time.
VR
WR
S
D

*Offense

See Also: "Grievance Procedures"