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Indiana University


Policies for Professional Staff and
Support and Service Staff not Covered by a Union

Corrective Action
PA/SS 6.4

Revised October 14, 2008
Changes indicated in red font.

Employees covered by this policy
This policy applies to Professional Staff and Support and Service Staff not covered by a union and who have completed the new-employee evaluation period.

A. Definition

Discipline, in its literal sense, is action that corrects or improves. Its purpose in the workplace is to correct or improve job-related performance or behavior.

B. Policy

  1. Most workplace performance problems are handled by informal discussion and counseling between the supervisor and the employee. This Corrective Action policy is applied when more formal action is required.
  2. It is the university’s policy and practice that discipline be progressive in nature, beginning with the least severe action necessary to correct the undesirable situation, and increasing in severity only if the condition is not corrected.

  3. In addition to being progressive in nature, it is important that the degree of discipline be directly related to the seriousness of the offense and the employee’s record; therefore, it is possible for steps to be skipped or repeated.

  4. Nothing in this policy is intended to alter the limitations described in the Problem or Grievance Resolution policy, about the types of discipline cases that can be appealed to Stage IV.

C. Steps of corrective action

  1. When informal discussions and counseling have not resolved the issue or the situation warrants moving directly to formal action, the steps of corrective action may include:

    1. Initial written warning

    2. Subsequent or additional written warning(s)

    3. Final written warning which may include a suspension without pay

      1. A transfer or demotion may be an appropriate corrective action.

      2. For Professional Staff who are not eligible for overtime, suspensions without pay must be in increments of full workweeks.

    4. Termination

  2. It is generally recommended that all steps be taken; however, some problems may be so serious that early steps may be eliminated.

  3. Supervisors must consult with the campus Human Resources Office prior to demoting, suspending, or terminating an employee and written notices of demotion, suspension, and termination must be approved by the campus Human Resources Office before they are distributed to the employee.

D. Procedures

  1. It is essential to document all employment actions, especially those designed to change the status of an employee. Departments are to create and maintain disciplinary action records and share these records with the employee and the campus human resources office.

  2. Notices of demotion, suspension, and termination must be approved by the campus Human Resources Office before they are distributed to the employee.

  3.  In cases that could result in a written warning, the supervisor, before making a decision to discipline, should conduct an investigation which includes the employee’s explanation of his or her performance or conduct.

  4. In cases that could result in a loss of employee pay or benefits (demotion, suspension or termination), departments, before making a decision to discipline, must give the employee an opportunity to receive and present information and ask questions.The elements of this opportunity are:

    1. For the employee to be provided information, in writing by the supervisor, relating to the nature and manner of the infraction or deficiency

    2. To ask questions, to explain, to respond, and to give information about the allegations in a meeting or in writing to an individual in the department who will make the decision to change the employee’s status.

    3. To have the employee’s information considered by the decision maker prior to a final determination of discipline being issued

    4. To receive written notification of the final decision

  5. If a meeting is held, an employee may have a representative other than an attorney present. The employee will be given a reasonable opportunity to arrange for his/her representative’s attendance.

E. Removal from the workplace during an investigation

  1. Some circumstances warrant an employee’s removal from the workplace in order to allow the university to investigate a situation.

  2. The following are examples of circumstances that may necessitate the removal of an employee to allow the university to investigate a situation.

    1. The employee’s alleged misconduct is of a serious nature.

    2. The safety or security of persons or property is in question.

    3. It is believed that the employee’s presence will disrupt the workplace.

  1. The employee’s time off from work as a result of such removal in the above circumstances is with pay. If the investigation results in a corrective action of suspension without pay or termination and the payroll has not yet been processed for the pay period, the time off may count towards the corrective action and be changed to without pay.

  2. If the investigation is not completed within five (5) days of the employee’s removal, the campus Human Resources Office, in consultation with the department, will determine whether additional time off is required to complete the investigation and whether the additional time will be with or without pay. Under certain circumstances and subject to University approval and maximum usage rules, the removed employee may be permitted to use accrued vacation or PTO during any of the additional time off without pay.

  3. Supervisors must consult with the campus human resources office prior to removing an employee from the workplace.

F. Prior disciplinary actions

  1. Generally, disciplinary action that is more than 12 months old is not used in considering whether to move to the next level of discipline. However, it is appropriate to consider the prior disciplinary action if no more than 12 months has passed between it and the next action in a series of actions for a similar problem.

    1. For example if a disciplinary action occurs on 2/1/02 and a second one occurs on 10/1/02, both can be considered if a third, similar occurrence arises on 6/1/03.

  2. The twelve-month time limit on the use of corrective action does not apply to any corrective action taken for the following offenses: theft, falsification of university records, sexual harassment, workplace violence, and other extremely serious offenses or other types of harassment prohibited by law.


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University Human Resource Services
Last updated: 2 April 2012
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