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Phone: 1-304-243-8152


Workplace Practices: Corrective Discipline


SECTION: HR - Workplace Practices NEXT REVIEW DATE: April 2017
APPROVED: June 2011 REVIEWER: Director of Human Resources
APPROVED BY: William C. Rickle, S.J. REVISION DATE: April 2016
  REVISION NUMBER: 6

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1.0 PURPOSE

In keeping with the philosophy of Wheeling Jesuit University, it is the University's desire to retain employees and invest in corrective action when an employee demonstrates deficiencies in performance and work-related behavior and fails to meet the University's standards and expectations.

2.0 POLICY STATEMENT

2.1 Policy Statement

Employees whose performance or work-related behavior fails to meet the standards and expectations of the University or who demonstrate minor misconduct shall be subjected to progressive, corrective action for repeat occurrences. Employees who either demonstrate major misconduct or multiple violations of a minor nature may receive accelerated levels of progressive, corrective, action up to and including termination.

2.2 Definitions

2.2.1 "Corrective Discipline" - remedial actions undertaken by the University in an effort to modify the performance or behavior of an employee when such performance or behavior violates the University's policies or procedures or the employee is not fulfilling the functions of the position.

2.2.2 "Minor Misconduct" - Actions which violate the University's policies and work standards, the byproducts of which are limited in both scope and magnitude and are possibly correctable.

2.2.3 "Major Misconduct" - Violations that are repetitive, flagrant, egregious, or willful; such violations are substantial in scope and magnitude and possibly hazardous to individuals or costly to University operations.

2.2.4 "Personal Improvement Plan (P.I.P.)" - an outline of corrective actions specifying training and professional development for an employee complete with measurable expectations.

2.3 Prevention and Preparation

Employees are to be provided job descriptions and expectations. Employees should be oriented and trained in their job duties and receive ongoing professional development as duties change. Such preventative and preparatory actions must be documented and the employee should acknowledge receipt or completion.

2.4 Corrective Dicipline

2.4.1 Non-Disciplinary Corrective Actions
An employee whose work performance fails to meet the University's standards or expectations and is in need of improvement, whose behavior requires slight modification to meet University standards or expectations, or who requires direction to conform to policies and procedures should initially receive counseling. Counseling may range from a simple discussion to a more focused interaction with a clearly delineated program to correct the deficiencies noted in a P.I.P. The employee's improvement plan as noted in the P.I.P will then be covered under the Performance Evaluation policy and process.

2.4.2 Disciplinary Corrective Actions
An employee whose performance or behavior is in violation of University standards, expectations, policies, common workplace customs or courtesies, should receive documented disciplinary action. The standard progression is:

  • Documented Verbal Warning: the supervisor issues a verbal warning and documents in writing that it was issued;
  • Written Warning: the supervisor issues a memorandum to the employee noting the behavior that must be corrected and the fact that this is a written warning; often referred to as being place on written notice.
  • Administrative Leave: the supervisor issues a memorandum placing the employee on a paid leave while an investigation is conducted into an alleged violation of University policies or procedures, at the conclusion of which the employee may return to work, be placed on an unpaid suspension, or terminated.
  • Suspension: the supervisor issues a memorandum placing the employee on an unpaid leave ranging in duration
    from one (1) to five (5) days. The employee may be subjected to progressive suspensions over time beginning
    with one (1) day and progressing up to three (3) or five (5) depending upon the infraction. A "Last Chance"
    agreement may be offered in conjunction with or in lieu of a suspension.
  • Demotion: the supervisor issues a memorandum demoting the employee to a prior position or an open vacancy
    commensurate with the employee's qualifications.
  • Termination: the supervisor requests that the employment relationship with the individual be terminated for
    cause.

2.5 Documentation

2.5.1 Documented Verbal Warning: after consulting with Human Resources, the supervisor prepares a brief memorandum
noting the infraction and the date of the occurrence. The employee acknowledges by signature receipt of the warning and it is sent to Human Resources for placement in the employee's personnel file where it will be held for up to twelve (12) months. It will be removed after twelve (12) months unless additional discipline is issued within that twelve (12) month period.

2.5.2 Written Warning: after consulting with Human Resources, the supervisor prepares a formal memorandum, noting in
detail the infraction and the dates of any prior verbal warnings. The employee acknowledges by signature receipt and it is sent to Human Resources for placement in the employee's personnel file.

2.5.3 Administrative leaves, demotions, suspensions, and terminations: after consulting with Human Resources, the supervisor prepares a formal memorandum, noting in detail the infraction and the dates of all prior corrective actions. The employee acknowledges by signature receipt of the document and it is sent to Human Resources for placement in the employee's personnel file.

2.6 Preparing and Issuing Corrective Dicipline

2.6.1 All written documentation and above must be reviewed and approved by Human Resources prior to issuance.

2.6.2 Discipline must be presented by the employee's immediate supervisor and another administrator must be present.
Employees must sign all corrective action; if the employee refuses, both administrators sign and note the employee's
refusal.

2.6.3 All discipline above verbal must be retained in the employees official personnel file in Human Resources.

2.7 Violations

2.7.1 The following violations may be considered Minor Misconduct: Including but not limited to minor, incidental, infractions of any University rules, policies or procedures; deficiencies in meeting work standards or expectations; unsatisfactory work performance; being out of the assigned work area without authorization; unintentional minor damage to University property or equipment; non-routine incidences of absenteeism and tardiness; minor or no-cost violations of the conflict of interest policy for which the violation was committed in the absence of knowledge.

2.7.2 The following violations may be considered Major Misconduct: Includes but is not limited to egregious violations of any University rules, policies or procedures; repetitive violations of University rules, policies or procedures after sufficient notice was provided; insubordination; illegal activities; falsification of University records; violations of the information security policy; major violations of the conflict of interest policy with resulting financial loss to the University which the employee knew or should have known was a violation; violations of the drug and alcohol policy; violations of the harassment policy; reporting to work under the influence of, using or distributing drugs or alcohol while at work or on University property; actions which jeopardize the health or safety of the campus community (verbal or physical assault or battery, sexual violence, weapons on campus, arson, failure to comply with safe work procedures); sexual misconduct involving a student as defined by the Title IX sexual misconduct policy (even if the case is not investigated by the WJU Title IX Office); sleeping on the job; escalating or major incidences of deficient work performance; major or intentional damage to University property or equipment; willfully limiting work; repetitive absenteeism or tardiness; failure to report off work or leaving work without authorization.

2.8 Required Approval

2.8.1 Documented Verbal Warnings: issued by the supervisor and documented in memoranda.

2.8.2 Written Warnings / PIP's: issued by the supervisor and pre-approved by Human Resources.

2.8.3 Suspensions: pre-approved by Human Resources prior to issuance.

2.8.4 Terminations or Demotions: pre-approved by the President or his designee prior to issuance.

2.9 Progression

2.9.1 Corrective discipline for minor misconduct will generally progress from Counseling / PIP, to Documented erbal, to Written Warning, to One Day Suspension, to Three or Five Day Suspension, to Termination.

2.9.2 Employees on probationary status may be terminated after their second minor misconduct and immediately for any major misconduct.

2.9.3 Where the offense is a major misconduct, the University may follow the same progression outlined for minor is conduct or elect to proceed immediately to a higher level of corrective discipline within that progression, up to and including termination.

2.9.4 The University may offer demotion in lieu of termination on a case by case basis depending upon the facts of the case and at the University's discretion.

2.10 Personal File

The supervisor and the employee must both sign the discipline. If an employee refuses to sign, a witness must be brought in and co-sign with the supervisor to acknowledge that the discipline was issued and that the employee refused to sign. A copy will be given to the employee and the original will be sent to Human Resources for inclusion in the employee's permanent file. No discipline will be placed into an employee's file absent the employee's signature or the signature of a witness in lieu of the employee's signature.

2.11 At-Will

Nothing contained within this policy shall change an employee's at-will status or otherwise limit the University's right to terminate employment at will.

3.0 AUTHORIZATION

The Director of Human Resources has the authority to change, modify or approve exceptions to this policy at any time with or without notice and with the approval of the University President or his designee.

4.0 ATTACHMENTS

Personnel File Policy



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