3000-2-3Employee Discipline

Issue Date:
May 30, 2005
Supersedes Date:
March 06, 1989

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

Policy

The Values stated in the College’s Strategic Plan include a commitment to open, effective communication and a commitment to treating our students and our employees fairly and equitably. Further, the Strategic Plan identifies Academic Excellence and Service Excellence as two of the College’s priorities. They speak to a provision of personalized service by caring and capable employees and a shared responsibility by the College and its employees for employee development and wellness.

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.

General Statement

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 himself or herself in an unsatisfactory manner, the College has the responsibility to take corrective action.

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.

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 offence or performance issue.

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.

Procedure

Informal Level

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

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 his or her side of the matter at hand.

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.

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

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 his or her supervisor and/or with Human Resources.

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.

If a greater sanction is indicated than would normally be the next step in a progressive discipline model, then the supervisor must consult with his or her 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.

Once a sanction is imposed, further misconduct is dealt with at the Sanction Level or at the Dismissal Level.

Dismissal Level

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 his or her supervisor and Human Resources for guidance. Termination of employment must have the approval of the President or his or her delegate.

Appendix

Appendix A - Definitions


For questions or concerns regarding policies, please contact:

Jim Elliott
Director, Quality Assurance & Institutional Research
519-542-7751 x 3489
jim.elliott@lambtoncollege.ca

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