Progressive Discipline

Policy No: 
5.13
Type of Policy: 
Administrative
Effective Date: 
July 2015
Last Revised: 
July 2015
Review Date: 
July 2018
Policy Owner: 
Human Resources
Contact Name: 
Eric White
Contact Title: 
Workforce Strategy
Contact Email: 
eric.white@ohr.gatech.edu
Reason for Policy: 

To improve performance, attendance, and/or behavior by coaching employees and encouraging ownership of their job and career

Policy Statement: 

Progressive Discipline is a constructive and corrective approach to solving work related performance, attendance, and/or behavior concerns. Through this process, employees are provided with the information needed to understand what aspect of their work performance, attendance, and/or behavior is unacceptable and what improvements are needed to demonstrate success.

Scope: 

Entities Affected By This Policy
All staff at the Georgia Institute of Technology should be aware of this policy.

Who Should Read This Policy
All staff at the Georgia Institute of Technology should be aware of this policy.

Procedures: 

Overview

It is the responsibility of all employees to adhere to the expectations outlined by their supervisor and to the standard of conduct at Georgia Tech. When employees fail to uphold these standards, the progressive disciplinary process may be utilized. However, there is no required number or sequence of warnings or reprimands that must take place before an employee is terminated. Further, some circumstances may warrant immediate termination.

If the progressive discipline process is used, managers must document the steps of the process as they occur. The steps involved in the process may include: verbal warning, written warning, final written warning, suspension, and termination. Performance and Talent Management (PTM) will review all supervisory recommendations involving disciplinary suspension, investigative suspension, demotion, or discharge and approve or deny such recommendations prior to actions being taken. As part of that process, PTM will review all disciplinary actions that have occurred to ensure they have been fairly administered and are consistent with policy and past practice.

Process/Procedures

For less severe infractions, the initial disciplinary action may be a verbal warning. The discussion between the employee and manager should be serious and professional in manner to ensure that the employee clearly understands the established standards and expectations with regard to his/her unacceptable performance or behavior. A written record of the date and content of the discussion should be maintained in the appropriate file.

A written warning may be issued if the unacceptable behavior is more severe or frequent in nature and/or a verbal warning has already been issued. The written warning should outline the undesirable behavior, state expectations, and indicate the consequences that will occur if there is no improvement in performance. Written warnings should be forwarded to the Office of Human Resources for placement in the employee’s official personnel file.

Suspension without pay may follow a verbal or written warning or may be the first disciplinary action taken if warranted by the circumstances. Prior to suspending an employee, managers must obtain approval from PTM in the Office of Human Resources and supply appropriate supporting documentation. The length of the suspension will depend on the facts of each case such as type and severity of the behavior, previous work performance of the employee, and prior disciplinary actions. The suspension letter should outline the undesirable behavior, state expectations, and indicate the consequences that will occur if there is not any improvement. A copy of the letter should be forwarded to the Office of Human Resources for placement in the employee’s official personnel file.

An employee may be suspended without pay for serious infractions of workplace conduct rules, including, but not limited to, rules prohibiting sexual harassment, workplace violence or drug or alcohol use, or for violations of state or federal laws. Exempt employees may be suspended without pay for serious misconduct, but may not be suspended for performance or attendance issues. Deductions from the pay of an exempt employee may be made for suspensions of one or more full days imposed for disciplinary reasons for infractions of workplace conduct rules, and such disciplinary deductions may only be made in full day increments.

An employee may be placed on an investigative suspension because of alleged serious misconduct. In these cases, the employee is removed from the workplace while the Office of Human Resources investigates the matter. Normally investigative suspension is leave with pay. The Office of Human Resources must approve any investigative suspension.

Termination may be advised when an employee has engaged in serious misconduct or has not corrected performance and/or behavior. Prior to dismissing an employee, managers must obtain approval from PTM in the Office of Human Resources and supply appropriate supporting documentation. If approved, the written letter of termination includes the reason for termination, effective date, and information regarding the appeal process.

Please refer to Progressive Discipline Procedures for additional information on documentation, counseling, and responsibilities for managers.

Responsibilities: 
Party Responsibility
Performance and Talent Management Offer assistance with policy interpretation.

 

Policy History: 
Change made Date
Policy streamlined, separated procedures; added and revised language regarding suspension of exempt employees  07/05/2012

 

 

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