It is essential that all employees accept personal responsibility for maintaining high standards of conduct and job performance, including observance of WPI rules and policies. Violations of these standards will result in disciplinary action. Disciplinary action is considered a dimension of performance evaluation. It is a corrective process to help employees overcome work-related shortcomings, strengthen work performance and achieve success.
Supervisors are encouraged to discuss what the appropriate course of action is in a particular case with the Human Resources staff prior to taking any disciplinary action. The penalty may vary due to extenuating circumstances or prior violations and each case should be evaluated on its own set of circumstances.
In dealing with deficiencies in conduct and work performance, the University tries to be fair and consistent in its treatment of employees. Many factors are taken into consideration if it becomes necessary to discipline an employee, including the nature and seriousness of the offense, the employee’s past record, the total impact on the employee’s department and on the University, and any mitigating or aggravating circumstances. In general, discipline for employees is applied in progressive steps as follows:
- Oral warning
- Written warning
- Final written warning, suspension and/or disciplinary probation
- Termination of employment
This policy is not contractual in nature and does not constitute an agreement that any particular procedure or rule will apply. The nature of the offense and the particular circumstances determine whether or not all or any of the steps in the above sequence are followed. Disciplinary steps may be omitted, accelerated, or repeated, as the University determines appropriate.
The purpose of disciplinary measures short of termination is corrective, to encourage employees to improve their conduct or performance so that they may continue their employment with the University. The University expects all employees to behave in a mature and responsible manner and to perform their jobs conscientiously, without the need of disciplinary action. These corrective disciplinary measures will not apply in the event of any offense that the University determines to warrant immediate termination of employment or in other circumstances when the University determines that corrective measure would be ineffectual or otherwise inappropriate.
If an employee is given an oral warning the employee is informed of the warning by his/her manager. The warning is also recorded by the manager in writing and the record is placed in the employee’s personnel file.
If an employee is issued a written warning or a final written warning, the manager will meet with the employee to discuss the disciplinary action and the employee will be asked to sign the warning. The employee’s signature is only an acknowledgment that the employee has been informed of the warning; it does not indicate agreement with the warning. All written warnings are retained in the employee’s file.
An employee may be placed on disciplinary probation for unsatisfactory performance or conduct. An employee placed on disciplinary probation will be given a written notice of probation, which generally provides an explanation of the reason for the action, the length of the probationary period and a plan of corrective action to be successfully completed during the period. The employee’s manager will meet with the employee to discuss the terms of the disciplinary probation, and the employee will be asked to sign the notice of probation as an acknowledgement that the employee has been informed of the action. A copy of the notice is retained in the employee’s personnel file.
At the conclusion of the probationary period, and from time to time during the period, as appropriate, the employee’s manager will meet with the employee to review his/her progress.
An employee on disciplinary probation who does not show satisfactory improvement is subject to further disciplinary action at any time, up to and including termination of employment.
A suspension from work may be appropriate when circumstances require an investigation and it does not appear practical or desirable or in the best interests of the University or of the employee for the employee to remain at work during that investigation. An investigative suspension is not itself a disciplinary measure. If, at the conclusion of the investigation, the investigative suspension is not converted to a disciplinary suspension or discharge, the employee will be reinstated and will be paid at his/her normal straight-time rate for all regularly scheduled work missed during the suspension.
A disciplinary suspension is a suspension from work without pay for one or more days for a repeated or serious infraction of University rules or policies. A record of the suspension is retained in the employee’s personnel file.
Misconduct During the Probation Period
The disciplinary action policy is not normally applied to new employees during the probationary period. Unsatisfactory performance or any infraction of University rules or policies or other misconduct during this period may result in immediate termination of employment. Probationary employees are not eligible to use the grievance procedure.Maintained by firstname.lastname@example.org
Last modified: November 11, 2008 12:54:21