Earlier this fall, the State Human Resources Commission approved revisions to the SHRA Employee Disciplinary Action Policy. These revisions do not significantly change current policy and practice, but provide additional definitions to ensure that the policy is consistent across the state.
Reason for Policy Change
Although these revisions do not significantly change current policy and practice, there is a significant restructuring of the policy. Some aspects of the disciplinary process that were undefined in the former policy have been articulated in the new policy to foster greater consistency of practice. Because practices at individual institutions may have evolved independently over time within the parameters of the former policy, this policy revision may require some modifications to current institutional procedures.
To ensure consistency with the Disciplinary Action Policy, revision details from the Office of State Human Resources are outlined below:
1. Policy Name Change
Disciplinary Action Policy (formerly, “Disciplinary Action, Suspension and Dismissal Policy”).
2. Documented Counseling Session
The revised policy expects a documented counseling session to occur prior to issuing a written warning for unsatisfactory job performance, unless Human Resources allows for an exception due to the nature of the incident(s).
3. Advance Notice to Attend a Pre-Disciplinary Conference
The revised policy sets a minimum 24 hours advance written notice to an employee prior to holding the pre-disciplinary conference. This was undefined in the former policy.
4. Lifespan of a Disciplinary Action
Written warnings, suspensions, and demotions remain active for 18 months, and this active period extends if another disciplinary action is issued in that timeframe. The revised policy also sets the maximum extended period up to an additional 18 months. This means that no individual action will be active longer than a total of 36 months.
The lifespan of active actions issued prior to Nov. 1, 2017, remain active as provided by the policy in place prior to Nov. 1, 2017.
5. Allowed Participants in the Pre-Disciplinary Conference
- The supervisor or other person chosen by agency management to conduct the conference; that person will be a representative from Employee & Management Relations, Office of Human Resources.
- A management representative must be present at management’s discretion; that person may be the supervisor or an alternate management representative.
- The employee;
- University procedures may provide for one additional neutral party, if agreed upon by the employee and management.
- If the person conducting the conference chooses, security may be present.
- No other parties may be present at the PDC.
6. Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Please note that references to the Employee Assistance Program and related fitness for duty procedures apply to the agency’s separate EAP program and not to the University’s EAP programs.
This message is sponsored by: Office of Human Resources