Policy Details

3000-2-3 Employee Discipline

Responsible Executive Senior Vice-President, Strategy & Corporate Services
Director, Human Resources
Issue Date March 6, 1989
Supersedes Date May 30, 2005
Last Review May 22, 2020
Last Revision May 12, 2020

Upon request, the college will provide a copy of this policy in an alternate format.

The Values stated in the College's Strategic Plan include a commitment to student and community success and a commitment to treating our students and our employees fairly and equitably while respecting the dignity and uniqueness of every individual. Further, the Strategic Plan identifies Academic Excellence, Ours Students and Our People as three of the College's priorities. They speak to a provision of personalized service by caring and innovative employees and a shared responsibility by the College and its employees for employee engagement, development and healthy work environment.

The College recognizes its accountability to the students, clients and employees of the College. The College has a responsibility to establish and maintain policies and procedures which provide for the most efficient and effective operation of the College while adhering to the strategic priorities and values of the College. This responsibility includes providing for proper, progressive disciplinary action for conduct contrary to the policies and procedures of the College and for unsatisfactory job performance.


  1. The College expects all employees to be conscientious and motivated by self-respect and professionalism which dictates they conduct themselves in a professional manner and perform satisfactorily on the job. In those situations where an employee conducts themselves in an unsatisfactory manner, the College has the responsibility to take corrective action.
  2. Each step in the progressive disciplinary procedure concentrates on correcting the cause of unsatisfactory behaviour or unsatisfactory job performance. The remedial efforts of the College and the degree of discipline imposed will be reasonable and be commensurate with the severity of the issue at hand.
  3. Each step in the disciplinary procedure serves to increase the awareness that the end result, if unsatisfactory behaviour and/or unsatisfactory job performance continues, is dismissal. The College may select a higher step in the discipline procedure up to and including dismissal depending on the severity of the offense or performance issue.
  4. The College's policy and procedure does not in any way prevent the employee from exercising rights covered under the Collective Agreements (Academic and Support Staff) and the Terms and Conditions for Administrative Staff.


Informal Level

  1. On the first minor incident or infraction, a discussion between the employee and the supervisor is required. The supervisor should keep a written record of the events on file. This record should include details of the infraction as well as any pertinent outcome arising from the discussion with the employee. This record is not to be forwarded to Human Resources at this stage.

Warning Level

  1. Should a further incident or infraction occur, prompt action must be taken. The supervisor must discuss the matter with the employee as soon as possible. The employee will be invited to have a union steward attend this meeting, as it may result in discipline. Any meeting involving potential discipline will include an opportunity for the employee to express their side of the matter at hand.
  2. If the supervisor determines that a formal warning is warranted, then the supervisor must provide a letter describing the incident or infraction and summarizing the subsequent conversation directly to the employee, ideally on the same or next business day after the discussion. A copy of the letter must be forwarded to Human Resources and to the supervisor's immediate supervisor.
  3. If the supervisor determines that a written warning is not warranted, then he or she should treat the matter as described in the Informal Level. In the normal course of events, a further incident or infraction of the same nature would be treated under this Warning Level.

Sanction Level

  1. Should a subsequent incident or infraction similar in nature to that addressed in a written warning occur, the supervisor must again meet with the employee. The employee will be advised to invite a local steward. The supervisor will listen to the employee's explanation before making any decision whether to impose a disciplinary measure, or regarding what measure to impose. The supervisor need not make either of these decisions at this meeting, and is encouraged to consult with their supervisor and/or with Human Resources.
  2. While it is desirable that a disciplinary regimen be progressive, there may be circumstances or factors that cause the supervisor to determine that a warning is the most appropriate course of action. If so, he or she should proceed with a written warning.
  3. If a greater sanction is indicated than would normally be the next step in a progressive discipline model, then the supervisor must consult with their supervisor and Human Resources for guidance. A letter of reprimand or an unpaid suspension are typical examples of disciplinary sanctions. The principles to be followed are that (1) the selected sanction should be proportionate to the severity of the infraction and (2) continuing misconduct should be met with sanctions of increasing severity. There is no one formula that will apply to all cases. The imposition of the sanction is to be communicated directly to the employee, in writing, copied as per the Warning Level. Such written communication should normally remind the employee that continued misconduct will lead to further discipline which could include termination of employment.
  4. Once a sanction is imposed, further misconduct is dealt with at the Sanction Level or at the Dismissal Level.

Dismissal Level

  1. Termination of employment for cause may be the ultimate conclusion of a progressive discipline regimen, the last in a line of progressively severe sanctions. The steps involved are the same as for the Sanction Level, except that there are additional considerations due to the finality of the action. The supervisor must consult with their supervisor and Human Resources for guidance. Termination of employment must have the approval of the President or their delegate.


Examples of offenses relating to the workplace include, but are not limited to the following. The definitions are intended to provide a general understanding of the intent of the example and should not be considered to be exhaustive of its meaning.

unexcused, excessive, or habitual lateness.
misuse of short-term disability and/or sick entitlement; unexcused or unauthorized absence; absence during posted office hours.
Unproductive use of time
spending time idly during work period; performing work unrelated to the assigned duties; absence from work location without permission, except in emergencies; sleeping on the job.
Disorderly conduct
engaging in fighting or horseplay; harassment, including sexual harassment; threatening harm to others; abusive, threatening or profane language.
Alcohol or drug abuse
consuming alcoholic beverages or other intoxicants during the work period or on College property, except in moderation at licensed and approved college events; reporting for duty while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Misuse or destruction of property
using College or agency property for unauthorized activities; failure to take reasonable care of, or causing wilful damage to, said property.
refusing to accept or perform work as assigned, except where there is a risk to the health or safety of the employee or students; refusing to accept work shifts, duty locations, assigned responsibilities or the instructions of a supervisor.
Breach of status or rules of conduct
violation of federal or provincial statute that infringes on the performance of the assigned job responsibilities (i.e. Human Rights Code, Highway Traffic Act); contravention of conduct defined in Codes of Professional Conduct, Collective Agreements, Ministry or College policy; work-related fraud; dishonesty.
the removal of College property without right or permission (includes teaching and learning and other materials produced on College time and/or with College resources); the unauthorized copying, use, or distribution of printer materials or computer software and other copyrighted materials.
Harming persons on College premises or while on duty
causing wilful injury, physical, emotional or psychological, to either a staff member, student or visitor (including sexual harassment or any other form of discrimination or harassment prohibited under the Ontario Human Rights Code.)
Student abuse
the wilful psychological or physical injury, neglect or mistreatment of a student.
Failure to report a witnessed offense
failure of an employee who witnessed a serious offense, contravention of the work rules, or student abuse, to report the incident to a manager.
Conflict of interest
failure of an employee to comply with the Conflict of Interest (4000-5-4) policy
Continuous infractions
repeated violation of any rule or combination of rules, including those violations that in a single instance would be considered to be a minor offense.

For questions or concerns regarding this policy, please contact the Policy Sponsor by phoning our main line 519-542-7751.