Employee Discipline and Termination
The College has a progressive disciplinary system which allows opportunities for correction while maintaining fair treatment to all. When necessary, supervisors will discuss marginal work performance and employee conduct with employees. In order to maintain and operate the College in the best interest of both the employee and the College, it is necessary that all employees adhere to certain standards of conduct designed to create a friendly, cooperative, and effective work atmosphere. This requires each employee to respect the rights and feelings of others as well as assure that each employee’s personal conduct is not harmful to others or to the College. Any employee who, after investigation, is found to have violated a rule or regulation of the College or the department, will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including discharge. The following steps are typical of the procedure followed to counsel the employee; however, each situation is unique and the College reserves the right to choose the level of disciplinary action it deems appropriate at any time.
Verbal Counseling. If an employee’s work performance or conduct is unsatisfactory, the supervisor should communicate this information to the employee through personal counseling. The supervisor should also provide suggestions to the employee for work improvement in the form of reasonable and attainable goals.
Written Warning. When a formal warning is necessary, the supervisor should consult with the Director of Human Resources to obtain approval to issue a written warning. Once the written warning has been approved, the supervisor should meet with the employee regarding the deficiencies in performance and/or conduct. The written warning is a written summary of the unsatisfactory performance or conduct as well as any violations of College policy. The warning should also contain reasonable and attainable goals for the employee with specific dates for completion. Both the supervisor and the employee should sign the written warning. The employee may attach a written statement to the written warning. The written warning and any attachments should be forwarded to the Director of Human Resources for retention in the employee’s official College personnel file.
Suspension Without Pay. If, after a reasonable time, performance or conduct deficiencies persist, the employee may be given a disciplinary suspension without pay for 3-5 working days. Prior to suspending an employee, the supervisor must obtain approval from the appropriate Vice President or Dean and the Director of Human Resources. Once the suspension has been approved, the supervisor should inform the employee of the unsatisfactory performance or conduct resulting in suspension and record the meeting in writing. Both the supervisor and the employee should sign the written record of suspension. The employee may attach a written statement to the written warning. The written record of suspension and any attachments should be sent to the Director of Human Resources for retention in the official college personnel file.
Disciplinary Discharge. If unsatisfactory performance or conduct continues beyond suspension, the employee should be terminated. Each supervisor must gain the written concurrence of his or her supervisor, department head and the appropriate Vice President or Dean after consultation with the Director of Human Resources before initiating a discharge action.
Immediate Termination. Immediate discharge and forfeiture of benefits may result, without prior counseling or warning, where there are serious violations. Serious violations include but are not limited to:
- Threat of violence or physical harm to any individual;
- Stealing property of the College or of another person;
- Damaging property of the College or of another person;
- Reporting to work while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in violation of college policy;
- Using alcoholic beverages or drugs while on duty in violation of college policy;
- Falsification of time records;
- Lying in official matters;
- Refusal to accept instructions of authorized supervisor including but not limited to failure to perform assigned duties, insubordination, or disobedience;
- Receipt of three (3) written warnings in one twelve (12) month period;
- Failure to report to work for three (3) consecutive scheduled work days without notice;
- Other serious infractions that may involve immediate termination will be handled on a case-by-case basis through consultation among the supervisor, the department head, the appropriate Vice President or Dean, and the Director of Human Resources.
(See also Rhodes’ “Alcohol Policy” and “Drug Policy.”)
Employee Termination Notice of Resignation. An employee in good standing wishing to terminate their employment with the College must file a written resignation with his or her supervisor (at least two (2) weeks prior to the effective date for non-exempt employees and at least four (4) weeks prior to the effective date for exempt employees) stating specific reason(s) for the resignation as well as the effective date. The employee’s resignation must be forwarded promptly to the Director of Human Resources. Failure of the employee to give such notice may result in denial of future employment with the College. (See “Exit Interview” and “Final Paycheck” sections.) Once an employee’s resignation is received in the Human Resources Office, effective with the next payroll, any outstanding debts owed to the College will automatically be deducted from the remaining paychecks. (See Final Paycheck Section for terminal benefit pay.)
Automatic, No Fault Termination. Any employee who has been on leave of absence for any work-related or non-work-related illness or accident for over 180 days, and has not contacted the Human Resources Office to see if a reasonable accommodation (if applicable) can be made, is terminated automatically. The termination is “no fault.”
Other Terminations. Faculty members should refer to Faculty Policies and Procedures for guidelines. The College may, on occasion, find itself in the position of having to discharge an employee. Dismissal may result from unsatisfactory work or continued infraction of College policies and practices, program cutbacks, etc. The employment relationship is “at will,” unless stated otherwise in a written individual employment agreement, and can be terminated at any time.
Exit Interview. The Human Resources Office conducts an exit interview for all terminations, regardless of reason, and includes discussion of those fringe benefits that may be continued by the terminating employees at his or her own cost and other issues as applicable. All College property such as keys, uniforms, credit cards, etc. must be returned to Human Resources by the last day worked. In addition, the employee’s computer files and documents can be viewed by the supervisor upon approval of the appropriate Vice President or Dean.
Terminal Benefit Pay-Vacation. Time records and timesheets will serve as documentation of vacation hours due. For director level and above employees, a written request that has been approved by the employee’s supervisor is necessary. The Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs may review these requests.
Final Paycheck. The final paycheck for an employee who has resigned will be issued on the next regular payday. Final paychecks may be deposited directly, picked up at the Bursar’s Office or mailed at the option of the employee. The final paycheck will represent compensation for hours worked and accumulated vacation time and compensatory time minus outstanding debts to the College (bookstore balance, library fees, etc.). No payment will be made for unused staff sick leave. For most employees timecards and timesheets will serve as documentation of vacation hours due. For directors and above whose time is not tracked through payroll, a written request that has been approved by the employee’s supervisor is necessary. The request should be forwarded to the Human Resources Office.
Revised October 23, 2008.
Revised March 13, 2007.
In effect April 26, 2004.
Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs.