The University and its departments have certain expectations regarding conduct and performance. Any employee may receive disciplinary action for failure to meet conduct and/or performance expectations.
Supervision is charged with the authority to manage and direct work force size, work assignments, employment hours, promotion, demotion, transfer, and dismissal based on departmental needs, including designating work hours, conduct and performance expectations for all employees.
Employees are responsible for meeting University and departmental expectations regarding conduct and performance, and also may be held to departmental procedures regarding attendance, call-in, etc. Any employee may receive disciplinary action for failure to meet conduct and/or performance expectations.
Note to supervisors: It is necessary to contact Employee Relations prior to issuing ANY disciplinary action to an employee.
Managers should contact Employee Relations, 919-515-6575, when considering any disciplinary action for an EPA employee.
EHRA professionals & faculty may contact Employee Relations, 919-515-6575. Faculty members may also contact the Chair of the Faculty, via the Faculty Senate Office, 919-515-2279, for faculty grievance and discipline concerns.
The University’s SHRA Successive Discipline Procedure is designed to help employees remedy work performance or personal conduct that has become unsatisfactory. The policy also is designed to assist managers in correcting and improving SHRA employee job performance problems and unacceptable personal conduct.
The University administers a successive disciplinary procedure by which discipline is administered only for just cause and apportioned to the degree of severity and frequency of the performance problem and/or conduct.
For SHRA employees, the University recognizes three categories of discipline:
- Unsatisfactory Job Performance is performance that fails to meet expected performance standards.
- Grossly Inefficient Job Performance is performance failure that may seriously threaten public safety or financial resources. Grossly Inefficient Job Performance may result in a permanent employee receiving a written warning, suspension, demotion, or being dismissed without intermediate measures.
- Unacceptable Personal Conduct is conduct for which no reasonable person should expect prior warning. Unacceptable Personal Conduct may result in a written warning, suspension, demotion, or dismissal without intermediate measures.
This is the first step in the SHRA Successive Discipline Process and is intended to provide the employee with an opportunity to correct conduct or performance issues.
- An employee may receive multiple written warnings for similar or different infractions.
- A final written warning is usually the final disciplinary action prior to dismissal.
Suspension without Pay and/or Demotion
An employee may be suspended without pay or demoted, for Unsatisfactory Job Performance, with previous active disciplinary actions on file, or without any prior disciplinary action for Grossly Inefficient Job Performance or Unacceptable Personal Conduct. A pre-disciplinary conference may be required.
If an employee is demoted the following guidelines regarding their pay applies:
If the employee’s previous salary falls within the new salary range, it may remain unchanged or be reduced to any rate within the new range. A salary adjustment downward is generally considered appropriate to bring the employee’s salary in line with actual performance and to maintain internal equity. An employee automatically qualifies for a position when demoted or reassigned within the same field of work. If either demotion or reassignment is made to a different field of work, the employee must meet the minimum qualifications for the position.
Investigatory Status with Pay
Investigatory status with pay may be appropriately used to provide time to schedule and hold a pre-dismissal or pre-disciplinary conference. Also, management may elect to use placement on investigatory status in order to avoid undue disruption of work or to protect the safety of persons or property.
It is necessary to contact Employee Relations before placing an employee on Investigatory Status with Pay.
An employee may be dismissed for Unsatisfactory Job Performance, with previous active disciplinary actions on file, or without any prior disciplinary action for Grossly Inefficient Job Performance or Unacceptable Personal Conduct. A pre-disciplinary conference may be required.
Prior to being dismissed for Unsatisfactory Job Performance, permanent employees must receive at least 2 written warnings including a final written warning.
SHRA employees who are separated for unacceptable personal conduct or grossly inefficient job performance are not eligible for rehire with the University. This includes employees who resign once disciplinary action for dismissal due to unacceptable personal conduct or grossly inefficient job performance has begun. Employee Relations is responsible for maintaining the no rehire list.
In special circumstances and at the department’s discretion, employees may be given the option to resign in lieu of dismissal. Please contact Employee Relations, 919-515-6575, to obtain additional information.
Resolution of Disciplinary Actions
All disciplinary actions (e.g. written warnings) issued to SHRA employees will remain in active status until one of the following occurs:
- Management notifies Human Resources in writing that the reason for the disciplinary action has been resolved or corrected; or
- The purpose for a performance-based disciplinary action has been achieved, as evidenced by a summary performance rating of level 3 (Good) or other official designation of performance at an acceptable level or better and at least a level 3 or better in the performance area cited in the warning or disciplinary action, following the disciplinary warning or action; or
- Disciplinary action and management has not issued to the employee notice of the extension of the period and the employee does not have another active warning or disciplinary action which occurred within the last eighteen months.
Inactive disciplinary actions will be removed from the employee’s main personnel file and placed in an inactive file in Human Resources.
Extension of Disciplinary Actions
Any written warning or disciplinary action for an SPA employee may be extended at any time within 18 months of the effective date of the disciplinary action. The employee and Human Resources must be given written notice of the extension. Supervisors should contact Employee Relations, 919-515-6575, prior to extending employee’s written warning or disciplinary action.
Transfer of Disciplinary Actions
When an SHRA employee transfers to another campus department or State agency, any active disciplinary action(s) will transfer with the personnel file of the employee and will remain in full force at the new work unit until removed by the new supervisor or made inactive by operation of this policy.