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Corrective Action Procedure

Employees Human Resources - Employee Relations

Employees are expected to follow all established rules and policies of their departments, the University, and the Trustees of the University. This disciplinary policy does not apply to probationary, at-will, and contract employees.

All University employees are expected to follow all established rules and policies of their department, the University, and the Trustees of the University.  As a condition of employment, all employees shall cooperate with the Department of Human Resources in an investigation.  This corrective action policy does not apply to probationary, at-will, and contract employees.

The University corrective action process may include, but is not limited to, an oral warning, a written reprimand, in the form of a performance improvement plan or behavior improvement plan, demotion, suspension or termination of employment.

The University reserves the right to allow an Appointing Authority, in consultation with the Department of Human Resources, to select the appropriate level of corrective action for an infraction.  Corrective action may begin at any stage including termination depending on the nature of the infraction.

Violations of University rules prohibiting discrimination and sexual harassment shall be addressed by the Office of Diversity and Employment Practices in accordance with procedures established in UW Regulation 1-5.

CAUSE FOR CORRECTIVE ACTION 

All employees are expected to carry out their duties honestly, in good faith, and with diligent care.  Cause for corrective action shall include, but is not limited to, poor work performance; dishonesty;  working while under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances used illegally; absenteeism; damage or unauthorized use of State or University property; refusal to work; harassment; carelessness; assault; insubordination; discourteous treatment of other employees, students, or the public; neglect of duty; violations of state or federal law, University rules, UW Regulations and Presidential Directives or department expectations; and other actions of misconduct.  The Department of Human Resources should be consulted prior to imposition of any corrective action other than an oral warning.

CORRECTIVE ACTION PROCEDURE

Oral Warning:  An oral warning may be given by a supervisor or an Appointing Authority when problems occurDocumentation of the oral warning is kept by the supervisor.  

Written Reprimand:  A written reprimand may be given by a supervisor or an Appointing Authority and should include reasons for the action being taken.  The supervisor, after consultation with the Appointing Authority and the Department of Human Resources, will provide the written reprimand to the employee.  The employee may meet with the supervisor to discuss the reprimand within three working days of the date of the reprimand.  If the corrective action is not reversed by the supervisor after meeting with the employee, the employee may provide a written response to the written reprimand.  The employee’s response must be provided to the Department of Human Resources and the supervisor within seven days of the date of the corrective action letter.  Copies of the corrective action letter and the employee's written reply will be placed in the employee's personnel file.  No other appeal is available to the employee.

Corrective Action Plans

Performance Improvement Plan

A supervisor may prepare a written Performance Improvement Plan which addresses substandard work performance.  The Performance Improvement Plan must be approved by the Department of Human Resources and by the appropriate Appointing Authority.  The Performance Improvement Plan should state the specific work performance issues being addressed, the period of time for which the plan is in place, and the required outcome(s) of the plan.  Inability to meet the required outcome(s) of the plan may lead to additional corrective action measures, up to and including termination of employment.

Behavior Improvement Plan

A supervisor may impose a Behavior Improvement Plan which addresses needed changes in workplace behavior(s).  The plan is effective immediately and will be in force during the entire employment period.  The Behavior Improvement Plan must be approved by the Department of Human Resources and by the appropriate Appointing Authority.  A Behavior Improvement Plan should state the specific issues being addressed and the required outcome of the plan continued or additional problems may lead to additional corrective action measures, up to and including termination of employment.

Notice of Intent to Take Corrective Action

An employment action involving loss of pay, such as demotion, suspension without pay or termination may be imposed by the Appointing Authority.  The Appointing Authority, after consultation with the Department of Human Resources, shall inform the employee in writing of the notice of intent to take such an employment action and the reasons for the action.  The affected employee shall have the right to respond in writing or meet with the Appointing Authority within three working days of the date of the notice of intent to take disciplinary action.  The Appointing Authority may extend the deadline for the meeting beyond three working days.

 

Notice of Termination/Suspension/Demotion

A final written corrective action decision shall be given to the employee within seven working days from the date of the notice of intent to take corrective action unless the Appointing Authority requires additional time to finalize the corrective action decision.

 

Appeal Procedure

An employee has the right to appeal any decision of any employment action involving loss of pay, suspension without pay, or termination.  The employee must file a notice of appeal with the Department of Human Resources within seven working days from the date of the final, written corrective action decision.  The notice of appeal must include a brief statement of the events giving rise to the corrective action and the relief sought.  Within seven working days of the receipt of the appeal, the Department of Human Resources shall submit the appeal to a Hearing Officer retained by the University, with notice to the parties.

  

HEARING PROCESS

The Hearing Officer shall schedule the hearing within 10 days of his/her appointment and shall establish a file and docket the case.  Once the matter is scheduled, the Hearing Officer may issue a continuance in order to accommodate scheduling or other matters.

  • The employee has the right to legal counsel at the employee’s expense.
  • Discovery, if any, shall be limited.  The parties will exchange relevant documents and a list of witnesses.  The Hearing Officer shall establish the time limits for discovery.  The employee may request in writing a copy of his/her complete personnel file or other materials directly related to the corrective action, excluding any materials protected by attorney client privileges or other privileges.
  • No depositions may be taken unless a witness is unavailable for testimony in person or by telephone, and the Hearing Officer determines that a deposition is necessary.
  • Interrogatories are not permitted.
  • The parties shall exchange exhibits and a list of witnesses at least five working days prior to the hearing.
  • No written pre-hearing motions are permitted; however, the parties may jointly communicate with the Hearing Officer by telephone.
  • The Hearing Officer may permit opening and closing statements by the parties.
  • Hearsay is permissible with relevancy and credibility as determined by the Hearing Officer.
  • The University shall have the burden of proof by “substantial evidence” that is, evidence that a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.
  • The Hearing Officer shall issue a written decision within 15 days of the adjournment of the hearing and shall file the decision with the Department of Human Resources with copies to the parties.
  • The decision of the Hearing Officer shall be limited to a finding of whether the evidence was sufficient to support the corrective action.
  • The decision of the Hearing Officer shall be final and binding upon the parties.  There shall be no further right of appeal.

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