Policies & Contracts

703 - Progressive Corrective Action

Subject: Progressive Corrective Action

Section: U703

Date: October, 2003


To define the University's policy on Progressive Corrective Action and to establish guidelines for the Corrective Action Process.


Corrective action is a process designed to identify and correct problems that affect an employee's work performance and/or the overall performance of the department. The progressive corrective action process should be handled consistently within each unit and for each problem.


  1. The Progressive Corrective Action Process refers to the following actions:
    • counseling or verbal warning;
    • written reprimand and warning;
    • suspension;
    • suspension pending investigation and final determination;
    • specific warning of discharge; and
    • discharge.
  2. Depending on the situation, any step may be repeated, omitted, or taken out of sequence; however, the University reserves the right to effect immediate termination should the situation be warranted. Each case is considered on an individual basis by the department and Employee Labor Relations.
  3. Typically, a preliminary meeting is held with the employee to allow the employee an opportunity to understand the nature of the concern and to explain his/her position on the matter. If necessary, the corrective action documentation would then be put together which would summarize the issue, taking into account any additional information the employee may have provided during the preliminary meeting.
  4. When issuing corrective action, there should be clear and direct communication between the employee and his/her immediate supervisor (or other University official with responsibility for the unit in which the employee works). This communication should include a meeting between the employee and the supervisor (usually after an investigative meeting described in (3) above is held between the employee and the supervisor). The supervisor should discuss the nature of the problem and how it affects the employee's overall performance and/or the overall performance of the department. During the meeting, the supervisor should make it clear to the employee that there are specific performances/behavioral expectations of the position, that he/she has failed to meet the outlined expectations, and a corrective action is being issued. It should also be clearly established that the employee must work on correcting the problem within a defined time period to avoid more serious progressive discipline.
  5. Disciplinary action should be taken within a time frame that will allow for a positive change in the employee's behavior or work performance. All disciplinary actions should be documented in writing, preferably on the Notice of Corrective Action form, which includes instructions for the approval and routing process.
  6. Except for serious offenses, the progressive corrective action ordinarily should not be advanced if six (6) months or more have elapsed since the previous corrective action. The employee's prior disciplinary record is never expunged from his or her personnel file. However, when the progressive correction action occurs six (6) months or more after the previous discipline, the last disciplinary step taken should be repeated.
  7. In the case of serious misconduct, an employee may be suspended and/or discharged on the first offense. Serious workplace misconduct includes, but is not limited to:
    • theft (to include unauthorized removal and/or use of University property);
    • sleeping on the job;
    • fighting;
    • behavior/language of a threatening, abusive or inappropriate nature;
    • misuse, damage to or loss of University property;
    • falsification, alteration or improper handling of University-related records;
    • unsatisfactory customer service (mishandling of or unsatisfactory service to the public, students, patients, staff or faculty) as defined by the department;
    • disclosure or misuse of confidential information, including government-mandated regulations that outline the treatment of confidential information (i.e., HIPAA, Medicare compliance, etc.);
    • unauthorized possession or concealment of weapons;
    • possession, use, sale, manufacture, purchase or working under the influence of non-prescribed or illegal drugs, alcohol, or other intoxicants; refusal to submit to a required drug screen; and tampering with the drug testing process in any manner;
    • insubordination (e.g., refusal to carry out a direct assignment); and
    • misuse of the University's electronic information systems, including:
      • deleting or altering electronic information without authorization;
      • generating false, misleading or defamatory information;
      • disregarding copyright and other intellectual property rights;
      • unreasonable use of available information technology which is not relevant to the employee's assigned task or to core University purposes; and
      • other actions that conflict with ITS's Policy on Information Technology Use and Access.
  8. Supervisors initiating corrective action should consult with their own immediate supervisor and/or their divisional Human Resources representative prior to issuing discipline. HR Employee and Labor Relations Office personnel should be contacted in order to give measured feedback, suggest alternative action(s) or approve the impending corrective measure.
  9. In cases of suspension, suspension pending investigation/outcome or of termination, HR Employee and Labor Relations' approval is required prior to any action being taken against the employee. Disciplinary action that is issued may be reversed, amended or negated by HR Employee and Labor Relations, pending a review with the appropriate supervisor or departmental Human Resources representative.

Employees represented by a union may be governed by the appropriate bargaining unit agreement.