All employees not under a written individual or collectively bargained contract are “at will” employees who serve at the pleasure of the University. Subject to its obligations under federal and state law, the University reserves the right to employ, discipline, suspend, discharge, or take such other personnel actions it deems appropriate.
The University has legitimate and reasonable rights and expectations when it comes to employee performance and behavior. Among others, these include the right to expect a staff member to: be on time and maintain regular attendance, put in a full day's work, learn the job responsibilities, respond positively to supervision and direction, adapt to change, perform cooperatively and positively with supervisors, coworkers, and customers, and learn and follow organizational policies and procedures.
Employees are expected to conduct themselves in a business-like and professional manner in conformity with all University policies, practices and standards as set forth for employees in this Staff Handbook, in other general statements of policies, and in any specifically defined policies or practices in individual departments. Also, the generally accepted behavioral standards of the community form additional standards governing employee conduct. Thus, such misconduct as possession of a weapon, fighting, theft, abusive language, claiming pay for time worked which was not actually worked, and the like, even if not precisely set forth in University rules, will subject an employee to discipline, including immediate termination, because they are commonly known to be improper conduct.
Should employees violate the standards of proper conduct, the general principle of progressive discipline should guide the supervisor, unless the violation is so severe that stronger steps are immediately implemented. Normally, this disciplinary approach uses a string of increasingly more severe penalties as violations occur, and an accumulation of violations may lead to discharge. However, every performance or disciplinary problem is different, and the seriousness of the problem will determine the course of action to be taken.
Disciplinary action that may be used is listed below; the severity of the misconduct will determine the action taken. However, nothing herein should be interpreted to mean that all acts of misconduct require that each of these steps be used before more severe disciplinary action is taken whether for the same offense or for other subsequent offenses. Disciplinary action will be determined on a case by case basis and should involve discussion with the Associate Vice President of Human Resources or his/her designee.