The following types and levels of disciplinary actions are described in a progressive manner. The steps are intended to allow the employee to correct the behavior prior to the next stage. However, the type and extent of disciplinary action shall be governed by the nature, severity, and effect of the violation; the type and frequency of previous violations; the period of time elapsed since a prior offensive act; and consideration of extenuating circumstances. More severe levels of disciplinary action may be imposed when a lesser action is deemed inadequate or has not achieved the desired results. One or a combination of any of the following disciplinary actions may be imposed. All disciplinary actions shall be in writing, and if more than one action is imposed, they shall be on a single document and imposed at the same time.
(1) Written Warning
This is typically the first level of disciplinary action, appropriate for first incidents and lesser violations where efforts to counsel the employee have not been effective. This action consists of a written record providing in detail the reasons for the warning and advising the employee of the action required to correct the unsatisfactory performance or behavior, the time allowed for improvement, and the consequences of future violations or failure to improve. The employee shall be required to acknowledge receipt and understanding of the warning in writing. Such signature does not imply agreement. If the employee refuses to sign, the supervisor and a witness shall sign a notation of the employee's refusal on the document. A copy of this documentation shall be placed in the employee's personnel file. The employee has the right to file a written explanation or denial.
An employee shall not have a written warning imposed more than once for a single transgression. However, written warnings for each additional act of the same or similar nature may be imposed.
(2) Disciplinary Probation
This level of disciplinary action is appropriate where a written warning was not effective in resolving an issue or for more frequent or serious violations. A disciplinary probation may be imposed for a period of up to six months. This is a designated time period during which the employee must improve. Disciplinary probation may be extended for up to one year with Administrative approval. An extension of disciplinary probation shall be considered as a separate disciplinary action. The imposition of a disciplinary probation is be be accompanied by a written explanation concerning the employee's violation, performance shortcomings, etc., that have caused the action to take place; the action required for improvement if appropriate; the time allowed for improvement and notice that if positive action is not taken to correct the noted deficiencies, dismissal may be imminent. The employee shall be required to acknowledge receipt and understanding of the document by signing the document. If the employee refuses to sign, the supervisor and a witness shall sign a notation of the employee's refusal on the document. A copy of the document shall then be placed in the employee's personnel file.
Employees placed on disciplinary probation may not be promoted or granted any salary increase authorized by the Supreme Court other than the "across the board" increase. The termination of an employee on disciplinary probation does not preclude recourse in the form of the filing of a grievance by the employee.
An employee may be placed on disciplinary probation upon return to work following a suspension without pay providing the employee was so informed when the suspension was imposed. Employees granted leave while serving disciplinary probation, may have their probation extended by the number of days absent on leave. An employee may be removed from disciplinary probation at any time.
(3) Suspension Without Pay
This level of disciplinary action is appropriate where previous disciplinary acts were not effective in resolving an issue and/or for more frequent or serious violations. Suspension without pay may be imposed in conjunction with another form of discipline such as a written warning or disciplinary probation.
Suspension without pay shall not exceed 20 workdays and shall be imposed in writing. The document imposing this form of action shall be dated and shall include the reason for the suspension and the number of days the suspension will last and the effective date(s) of the suspension.
Employees placed on suspension without pay shall not be granted vacation, sick, or holiday leave or unused compensatory time off while in a suspended without‑pay status, nor shall they earn vacation, sick, or holiday leave credit during the period of suspension
If the same or an additional violation is committed while serving the disciplinary probation period, the employee may be suspended without pay as a result of the new violation. In such instances the period of suspension without pay shall not be credited to the original probation period. Upon completion of the period of suspension without pay, the employee shall complete the probationary period plus any additional period of probation imposed as a result of the violation which caused suspension without pay.
The notice of a period of suspension is to be accompanied by a written explanation of the reasons for the suspension and the fact that failure to improve may result in further discipline. The employee shall be required to acknowledge in writing receipt and understanding of such information. If the employee refuses to sign this document, the supervisor and a witness shall sign a notation of the employee's refusal to sign the document. A copy of the document shall then be placed in the employee's personnel file. In cases in which the employee is to be placed on disciplinary probation upon return from suspension without pay, the employee shall be informed of this fact at the time the suspension is imposed.
(4) Reduction in Salary Within Salary Grade
This level of disciplinary action is appropriate where previous disciplinary acts were not effective in resolving an issue and/or for more frequent or serious violations. Supervisors may recommend a reduction in an employee's salary within salary grade as a disciplinary action in consultation with the Administrative Office. Supervisors may recommend restoration of an employee to his/her previous salary when circumstances justify. An employee's salary may be reduced to no lower than the minimum permanent rate of the salary grade.
This level of disciplinary action is appropriate where despite attempts to improve performance, an employee is not successful at doing so, and may be successful in a lower job classification. The employee's duties shall be changed to reflect the new classification. Upon demotion of an employee for disciplinary reasons, the Administrative Office shall reduce the employee's salary a minimum of 5 percent and the salary may not be above the maximum rate of the new salary grade. However, a demoted employee's salary may be reduced no lower than the minimum permanent rate of the new salary grade.
This level of disciplinary action is appropriate where previous disciplinary acts were not effective in resolving an issue and for the most serious violations, such as theft, physical altercations, law violations, and participating in harassment based on protected class.
Employees dismissed shall be provided with written notice of their dismissal 2 weeks prior to dismissal, or, at the discretion of the Administrative Office, granted 2 weeks' pay in lieu of the 2‑week notice where the employee's continued presence in the workplace would potentially be disruptive or otherwise adverse to effective operations.
Employees granted 2 calendar weeks pay in lieu of notice shall not be eligible to accrue sick or vacation leave for the period for which payment in lieu of notice is made.
An employee who commits a violation or an act which endangers or threatens the safety, health, or well‑being of another person or persons, or a violation or act which is of sufficient magnitude that the consequences thereof cause irreparable disruption of work presently performed, or to be performed in the future, may be dismissed forthwith and shall not be entitled to a 2‑week notice of dismissal or 2 calendar weeks pay in lieu of notice.
Amended 9-17-03; Amended 12-22-10; amended 7-9-15.