Introduction

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SECTION 17 - PERSONNEL ACTIONS PROCEDURES

See §8-208 of the college CODE

 

§8-208 C: Rule: Personnel Action Procedures. This rule is promulgated by the president to implement a portion of the college’s policy on Personnel Actions.

 

            1.         Introduction:

 

                        a.         This rule deals with employee behavior, and performance. It establishes clear, written standards for employee conduct and performance, fair and equitable procedures for dealing with allegations that the standards have been breached, and reasonable personnel actions to be taken in those cases when a college employee is found to have breached the standards. The underlying assumptions of this rule are that both the college and its individual employees will benefit from having these items placed in writing and that this written rule will assist both the college and its individual employees in acting in a rational, responsible manner in relation to the standards of employee conduct and performance.

                        ii.        This rule, formulated by a careful and deliberate process during which suggestions and comments from members of the college community and the constituency organizations were invited, received and considered, is subject to further revisions by the president under his/her rule-making powers. For this reason, the president invites the continued study of the rule.

 

            2.         Definitions: As used in this rule, the following definitions shall apply:

                        a.         College Premises means the campus, other premises owned, leased or used by the college, including but not limited to premises such as playing fields and auditoria where college events are taking place, and off-site facilities, such as schools or hospitals, used for college purposes.

                        b.         College Property means real property, tangible and intangible, personal property, records, files and money owed, occupied, used by, or in the care or custody of the college, or in which the college has an interest.

                        c.         Days means calendar days, except where used in a personnel action such as loss of leave or furlough, “days” means working days as determined by the schedule of the employee concerned.

                        d.         Employee means any person employed by the college; for purposes of termination of employment, administrators and faculty shall be subject to Title 11 §101 B(6), and Title 9 of the college Code respectively.

                        e.         Infraction means a breach of the standards of employee conduct and/or performance which are described in Section (3).

 

            3.         Employee Standards: Each college employee is expected to perform in a manner compatible with his/her position and with the college’s function as a public institution of higher education.

                        a.         All college employees are expected to:

                                    (1)       Competently perform the duties and responsibilities of their respective position descriptions.

                                    (2)       Adhere to scheduled working hours.

                                    (3)       Secure required approval for all absences;

                                    (4)       Submit required reports on time.

(5)Attend commencement exercises, as required.

                                    (6)       Attend meetings, workshops, orientation, seminars, and lectures as required.

                                    (7)       Comply with college policies, rules, regulations and procedures.

                        b.         In particular, members of the teaching faculty are expected to:

                                    (1)       Meet all scheduled classes on time.

                                    (2)       Maintain adequate and accurate student classroom records.

                                    (3)       Attend department and division meetings.

                                    (4)       Maintain scheduled office hours as required.

                                    (5)       Submit final grades to the office of Admissions and Records within the required time frame for that grading period

(6)Ensure that only registered students attend the class.

 

                        c.         In addition to noncompliance with the employee standards   described in Sections 1. and 2. above, the following are examples constituting infractions which could result in immediate dismissal:

                                    (1)       Insubordination, which is willful disregard of reasonable directions of a supervisor or other person in authority, or the refusal to obey reasonable orders of a supervisor or other person of authority.

                                    (2)       Forgery, alteration or misuse of college documents, records or identification, or knowingly furnishing false information to the college.

                                    (3)       Fraud, theft, embezzlement or other dishonest conduct affecting the college, member of the college community, or the employment relationship.

                                    (4)       Intentional conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person on college premises or of a member of the college community off college premises, or assaulting, molesting or threatening any such person with bodily harm.

                                    (5)       Illegal use, possession or distribution of controlled dangerous substances on college premises, or being impaired on college premises as the result of the use of such substances.

                                    (6)       Unauthorized use or distribution of alcoholic beverages on college premises, or being impaired or intoxicated on college premises as a result of the use of alcoholic beverages.

                                    (7)       Negligent conduct which results in personal injury to a person on college premises or damage or loss of college property or property of others on college premises.

                                    (8)       Commission of a criminal act, including the illegal possession of a weapon, the nature of which makes the continued employment of an employee inconsistent with the safe and efficient operation of the college.

                                    (9)       Unauthorized disclosure of identifiable information from the education records of a student or the personnel records of an employee.

                                    (10)     Discrimination against, or harassment of any person on the basis of sex, age, race, color, religion, national origin, or status of a qualified handicapped person, qualified disabled veteran, or Vietnam era veteran.

                                    (11)     Retaliation against any person for alleging that an infraction has occurred, or, for participating in any procedure under this rule.

                                    (12)     Willfully alleging in bad faith that another employee has committed an infraction.

                                    (13)     Breach of the contract of employment.

                                    (14)     Breach of the college Code of Ethics.

                                    (15)     Abandonment of employment, which is the voluntary relinquishment by an employee of his/her employment without prior notice to and the consent of the college.

                                    (16)     Refusal to give nonprivileged testimony in any hearing conducted by the college.

                        d.         Exceptions to compliances with Sections 1. and 2. above may be granted by a supervisor having the authority to grant such exceptions if the employee establishes a reason which in the judgment of such supervisor, justifies the exception. However, no such exceptions shall be granted by the supervisor in cases involving Section 3. above. In such cases, the matter shall be referred to the director of Personnel for appropriate disposition.

 

            4.         Personnel Actions:   Personnel actions are taken by supervisors to deter behavior or performance which does not meet employee standards. The supervisor taking a personnel action should elect an action deemed appropriate after considering any mitigating circumstances, the gravity of the infraction involved, and other previous infractions by an employee.

 

The following types of personnel actions may be imposed under the procedures established by this rule:

                        a.         Reprimand: This is a written statement to an employee from the appropriate supervisor describing the employee’s infraction, provided that an oral reprimand may be given by the supervisor deciding to waive personnel action. Reprimand will ordinarily be used only for a first infraction which the supervisor determines is not serious in nature and is not likely to recur, but may be used for subsequent similar infractions when the supervisor, from a consideration of all the circumstances, deems its use appropriate.

                        b.         Warning: This is a written statement to an employee from the appropriate supervisor describing the employee’s infraction, and advising that failure to correct the behavior or its recurrence may be grounds for dismissal or further discipline. Warning will ordinarily be used only for an infraction which the supervisor, from a consideration of all the circumstances, determines is not serious enough to warrant further action unless it recurs.

                        c.         Loss of Leave:

                                    (1)       Employees who receive annual leave may be subject to loss of annual leave accrued for one year of service; the amount of leave to be lost to be determined by the supervisor from a consideration of the seriousness of the infraction.

                                    (2)       Employees who do not receive annual leave, but receive personal leave and sick leave may be subject to loss of personal and/or sick leave accrued for one year of service, the amount of leave to be lost to be determined by the supervisor from a consideration of the seriousness of the infraction.

                        d.         Furlough: An employee may be furloughed for up to four calendar months (or one semester, in the case of teaching faculty) for an infraction which the supervisor determines is serious enough to justify such action, when the supervisor determines that a period away from the college will also benefit the employee. While on furlough, such employee shall be on Leave Without Pay status regardless of whether he or she has paid leave available.

                        e.         Longevity Salary Increments: An employee may incur loss of his/her most recent increase in pay, or the effective days of such increase may be postponed for up to one year, and/or may be declared ineligible for further increases for up to two years, if the director of Personnel determines from all the circumstances that the infraction is serious enough to warrant dismissal, but is willing to allow the employee an opportunity to improve his/her behavior. (Step does not include cost of living increments.)

                        f.         Restitution: An employee may be required to make restitution for personal injury or loss or damage of property resulting from an infraction.

                        g.         Dismissal: An employee may be terminated for any violation of the Standards of Conduct set forth above.

 

            5.         Informal Resolution Procedures: In cases alleging conduct covered under §8-208 (c) (3) (iii) of the college Code, the supervisor shall immediately report the matter to the director of Personnel. The director of Personnel shall then engage in an informal review which shall include discussions with the supervisor, employee and other individuals deemed appropriate by the director of Personnel. If the director of Personnel determines that a violation of §8-208 (c) (3) (iii) occurred, the director of Personnel may terminate the employee or impose other discipline without the use of the Formal Resolution procedures set forth below. Any employee sanctioned under this section may file a grievance under the General Grievance Procedure set forth in Title III. However, no sanction shall be postponed pending review under the General Grievance procedures.

 

In most cases, it will be in the best interest of all parties concerned to resolve allegations of infractions by informal means.

 

For this reason, if an employee’s supervisor has personal knowledge of facts which indicate that an infraction other than those set forth in §8-208 (c) (3) (iii) of the Code, has occurred, or receives information from another person indicating that an infraction has occurred, the supervisor, upon investigation of the matter, shall give the employee an oral reprimand. If another violation occurs, the supervisor shall issue the employee a written reprimand which shall reference the oral warning and subsequent violation. At any time during this process, the supervisor and the employee may meet to resolve the issue.

 

If the matter is not resolved and an additional violation occurs, the supervisor shall immediately contact the director of Personnel, which shall be responsible for the administration of the Personnel Actions Procedures set forth in this Title.

Upon being contacted by a supervisor of an employee’s continued violations, the director of Personnel shall verify that both an oral reprimand and a written reprimand have been given to the employee. Where this has occurred, the director of Personnel shall schedule a meeting between the supervisor, the employee, the director of Personnel, and anyone else deemed appropriate by the director of Personnel. As a result of this meeting the following can occur:

                        (1)       Any agreement reached by the parties shall be reduced in writing, signed by both parties and placed in the employee’s Personnel File.

                        (2)       If the parties are unable to reach agreement and the personnel action to be taken consists of a warning, such action may be taken by the director of Personnel. Copies of the warning shall be served on the employee and placed in the employee’s Personnel File. The employee shall have the right, within 10 calendar days after service of the warning, to place a counter statement in such file.

                        (3)       If the parties are unable to reach agreement and the personnel action taken consists of loss of leave of not more than three days, or furlough of not more than three days (with or without reprimand or warning), the director of Personnel shall take such personnel action by serving written notice thereof on the employee. The employee shall have the right, within 10 calendar days after service of such notice to appeal such personnel action to the appropriate vice president or to the president (or his/her delegee) if the vice president is the supervisor taking the personnel action. The vice president or the president (or his/her delegee) shall review the matter to determine whether the infraction occurred, and shall finally decide the matter.

                        (4)       If the parties are unable to reach agreement and the personnel action to be taken is other than warning and/or loss of leave of not more than three days, or furlough of not more than three days, the matter shall proceed to formal hearing as provided in Section 6. below.

 

            6.         Formal Resolution Procedures: Allegations of infractions which are not resolved pursuant to Section 5., above, shall be referred to the president who shall designate as hearing officer his/her executive assistant or one of the vice presidents who does not supervise the charged employee (unless the employee is a vice president, in which event the president or his/her delegee will be the hearing officer).

                        a.         The hearing officer will give the supervisor and the charged employee notice of the hearing not less than 10 nor more than 30 days after the date of notice, except by consent of the supervisor and the charged employee. The notice shall be accompanied by a statement of charges, which may be the original charge filed in the matter or an amended charge prepared by the supervisor. The notice shall advise the employee of his/her rights to file an answer, and the right to be represented by an attorney. Unless the attorney enters an appearance at least five days prior to the hearing, the supervisor shall be entitled to a reasonable continuance for the purpose of obtaining legal representation, and/or the hearing officer may continue the hearing for the purpose of obtaining the attendance of counsel to advise him/her on matters of law.

                        b          The charged employee shall file a written answer to the statement of charges on the hearing officer within 15 days after the statement of charges is given.

                                    (1)       The answer shall contain a denial or admission of each and every allegation of the statement of charges.

                                    (2)       An employee who fails to file an answer may be precluded, in the hearing officer’s discretion, from presenting evidence at the hearing. In such case, there shall be no default, but the charging party shall be required to prove by credible evidence that the employee has committed the acts or omissions alleged. If the hearing officer allows such an employee to present evidence, the charging party shall be entitled to reasonable continuance for the purpose of investigation and preparing rebuttal.

                                    (3)       Upon receipt of the answer, the hearing officer shall serve a copy on the supervisor.

                        c.         At the hearing, the hearing officer shall have discretion to admit all relevant evidence. The hearing officer shall give effect to the rules of privilege recognized by law, and may exclude incompetent, immaterial, and unduly repetitive evidence. Written evidence may be received in the form of copies or excerpts or be incorporated by reference.

                                    (1)       All witnesses shall testify under oath or affirmation, and shall be subject to cross-examination.

                                    (2)       At the discretion of the hearing officer, the hearing may be continued from day to day or adjourned to a later date.

                                    (3)       A tape recorded record will be made of the hearing for use in the event of an appeal, in which event, this record, or copies thereof, will be available to all parties to the hearing.

                        d.         If the hearing officer determines that the employee committed the acts or omissions alleged in the statement of charges, he shall take such personnel actions authorized by this regulation as the hearing officer deems appropriate.

 

            7.         Abandonment: The foregoing Sections 5. and 6. notwithstanding, if an employee abandons a position, that employee’s supervisor shall immediately advise the director of Personnel of such abandonment.

                        a.         Upon receipt of such advice, the director of Personnel shall give such employee notice of dismissal, which notice shall provide that the dismissal will be reconsidered if within 10 calendar days after the date of notice, the employee furnishes to the director of Personnel a statement, under oath or affirmation, of facts which show that the employee’s absence did not amount to abandonment of the position. If no such statement is received within the 10 day period, the dismissal is final. An employee who is given notice of dismissal shall be entitled to no pay.

                        b.         If such a statement is received by the director of Personnel within the10 day period, it shall be forwarded to the employee’s supervisor who shall thereupon request a meeting with the employee for the purpose of attempting to resolve the matter.

                                    (1)       Any agreement reached at the meeting shall be reduced to writing, signed by both parties, and place in the employee’s Personnel File.

                                    (2)       If the parties are unable to reach agreement, the director of Personnel shall prepare a written decision as in (c), and the employee shall have the right, within 10 calendar days after service of such decision, to appeal the decision to the president (or his/her delegee), who shall review the matter to determine whether the abandonment occurred, and if so, whether the absence constituting the abandonment was, or under the circumstances, should have been authorized or excused, and shall finally decide the matter.

                                    (3)       If the employee does not respond to the request for a meeting, the director of Personnel shall decide on the basis of the statement and such other facts of which he is aware, whether to withdraw or affirm the dismissal, which decision shall be in writing and shall state the factual basis for the decision.

                        c.         If the decision is made to withdraw the dismissal, such other personnel action may be taken in accordance with this rule, as is justified if there has been an infraction by the employee.

                        d.         If the dismissal is subsequently withdrawn, the employee shall be entitled to a restoration of pay for such period, except as the same may be diminished as the result of other personnel action taken in accordance with this rule.

 

            8.         In the director of Personnel’s judgment, pending the outcome of the procedures under Sections 5. and 6., an employee charged with an infraction which, would warrant dismissal:

                        (1)       May be continued in his/her regular duties, or

                        (2)       May be placed on administrative leave with pay, or

                        (3)       May be placed on Leave Without Pay (LWOP) status.

 

            9.         Appeals: The grievant or the responsible person may appeal a decision of the hearing officer by serving a written appeal on the director of Personnel within ten days after service of the hearing officer’s decision. The appeal shall contain written argument in rebuttal of the hearing officer’s decision.

                        a.         Upon receiving from the director of Personnel a timely appeal, the president, or his/her delegee, shall transmit a copy of the appeal to the other principal in the dispute.

                                    (1)       Within five days, the director of Personnel shall transmit to the president or his/her delegee, the record of the formal hearing and all written evidence.

                                    (b)       The other party shall have ten days after the date of receipt of the appeal to file written response with the president and the party filing the appeal. The president may shorten or extend these times for reasonable cause.

                        b.         The president, or his/her delegee, shall decide the appeal on the record of the formal hearing and the written argument filed. The decision shall be in writing and shall be served on the grievant, the responsible person, and the director of Personnel within 30 days after receipt of the notice of appeal.

                        c.         A party dissatisfied with the decision of the appeal by the president, or his/her delegee, may request that the Board of Trustees review the decision. The request must be made within ten days after service of the president or his/her delegee’s decision, and state the basis for the request in detail.

                        d.         The board shall decide whether to review such decision as soon as practicable. Requests for review shall be decided from the record without hearing or oral argument.

                        e.         If the board decides to review the matter, such review shall be decided from the record without hearing or oral argument.

 

            10.       Records:

                        a.         Records of final personnel actions (including agreements or determination that no infraction has occurred), and any counter statements submitted under Section 5., shall be placed by the director of Personnel in the employee’s Personnel File with a copy to the employee.

 

                        b.         The records of personnel action shall be transient, and shall be removed from the employee’s Personnel File by the director of Personnel after the latter of either a period of three years during which no further personnel action is taken, or the final disposition of any pending claim, charge or action concerning the personnel action.