Corrective action

Represented and Professional and Support Staff

For represented and PSS employees, the union bargaining agreement or university policy defines what constitutes corrective action. Therefore, it is important to review the applicable policy or labor agreement if an employee’s conduct or performance is not satisfactory. Contact the Employee and Labor Relations office before taking any corrective action for guidance and assistance. Corrective action steps may include:

  • Written warning
  • Corrective salary decrease
  • Suspension
  • Demotion

When an employee reasonably believes that a meeting with his/her supervisor may result in a corrective action, the employee may request and is entitled to representation. This right to representation is known as “Weingarten Rights.”

Generally, at least one written warning will be given to an employee prior to proceeding with any other corrective action; however, no written warning will be needed if the corrective action is a result of misconduct or work performance that an employee knew or reasonably should have known was unacceptable.

For represented and PSS employees all corrective actions are progressive, and for represented employees they are measured against a “just cause” standard.

  • Corrective Action: Should generally follow a course of progressive discipline that will use increasingly serious actions if there is no sufficient improvement or if there is repeated failure to correct unacceptable conduct or work performance. When determining the appropriate corrective action to use, supervisors should take into account the severity and circumstances of the situation and the employee’s work history. Taking more severe action or termination may be warranted in situations of serious misconduct or failure to maintain acceptable work performance standards.
  • Just Cause: Is a burden of proof or standard that an employer must meet to justify discipline or discharge for represented employees. The standards of just cause require that work rules or orders are reasonable; that the employee receive adequate notice of the work rule/order and the consequence of possible failure of non-compliance; that a sufficient and fair investigation is conducted; that the documentation supports the unsatisfactory conduct or performance; and, that the discipline is appropriate and consistent.

Certain corrective actions, such as suspension over five (5) days, demotions, and salary decreases require a written notice of intent which must include the following:

  • Intended corrective action,
  • Reason for the action,
  • Materials/documentation (if any) on which the action is based,
  • Proposed effective date(s) of the action,
  • Specific expectations for future performance or conduct, and
  • A statement that the employee has the right to respond orally or in writing to the University’s intended action(s). This is commonly referred to as the Skelly Notice or Skelly rights.

If an employee requests a review of the intended action, a designated management representative will review the employee’s response. The reviewing manager can uphold, modify or overturn the intended action and will send a written report of his/her findings to the employee’s supervisor.

Based upon the findings of the reviewing manager’s report or if the employee does not request a review of the intended action, the supervisor prepares a letter informing the employee of the action to be taken, attaches a copy of the reviewing manger’s report, and, if corrective action is taken, informs the employee about his/her appeal rights under university policy or the union’s collective bargaining agreement.

Managers and Senior Professionals (MSP)

The university’s Corrective Action Policy does not cover MSP employees. However, unless the conduct and/or failure to meet work performance standards is so severe to warrant immediate termination, it is recommended that supervisors give an employee prior notice of his/her unsatisfactory performance and/or conduct and develop a plan for the employee to improve and succeed. This notice should be in writing and may be in the form of a Letter of Concern, Letter of Warning or a Letter of Expectations. A good practice when issuing one of these letters is to provide the MSP employee with a copy of the documentation supporting the conduct or performance issue, specify the expectations for future performance or conduct, and the potential consequences for not meeting expectations or standards.