Discipline for Non-Covered Employees

Departmental Responsibility: Office of Human Resources
Topic: Discipline for Non-Covered Employees
Policy: Discipline for Non-Covered Employees
Effective: April 29, 2015
Last Revised Date: April 30, 2015

Discipline Policy

SECTION A: Overview

While employed at Clemson University, all employees are expected to comply with appropriate University policies and procedures as well as State and Federal laws, rules, and regulations.  Employees who are found to be in violation of such policies, procedures, laws, rules or regulations may be given an opportunity to improve, if justified by the circumstances.  Disciplinary actions, in general, are considered constructive measures for the correction of the conduct of employees.  For this reason, disciplinary actions will be guided by the degree of severity necessary to obtain the desired improvement.  However, if improvements in conduct are not observed, further discipline may be justified, including termination.  Similarly, if the circumstances are egregious, stronger discipline, including termination, may be required for a first offense. This policy applies to all "non-covered" employees such as probationary, temporary, time-limited, temporary grant, research grant and other employees exempt from the State Employee Grievance Procedure Act.  Additionally, this policy may also be used as a guide for faculty disciplinary issues, in accordance with the Faculty Manual.

SECTION B:  Forms of Discipline

Disciplinary actions include, but are not limited to:

- Oral reprimand
- Written reprimand
- Suspension
- Termination

Other forms of disciplinary actions:  reassignment, demotion, reclassification, and unclassified State title change.

SECTION C: Determining Level of Discipline

Upon notice of misconduct or other violation of policies, procedures, laws, rules, or regulations, the supervisor – or appropriate University official – should consider the severity of the offense, mitigating circumstances, prior infractions, and any other information that the supervisor believes to be relevant to determine the appropriate level of discipline.  In most cases, the supervisor should also seek an explanation for the misconduct from the employee prior to finalizing any disciplinary action. Also, the supervisor is always encouraged to consult with an Employee Relations Manager in the Clemson University Office of Human Resources to determine the appropriate level of discipline, especially where the misconduct is more severe or the circumstances are complex.  
 
If the supervisor believes that suspension or termination is appropriate, he/she will recommend this disciplinary action to an Employee Relations Manager in the Clemson University Office of Human Resources accompanied by documented support from relevant managers in the chain of command. Employee Relations will confirm that this disciplinary action is appropriate and will work with the supervisor(s) to finalize the disciplinary action.  Disciplinary actions should be documented in writing, signed by the employee and supervisor(s), and placed in the employee’s personnel file in Clemson University’s Office of Human Resources.  The employee may attach additional comments to any disciplinary action, if desired, within 30 days of receipt of the disciplinary action.

When the misconduct constitutes a termination, criminal violation, or otherwise requires investigation, the employee may be suspended without pay pending the results of the investigation.

SECTION D:  Disciplinary Guidelines

Guidelines for disciplinary action are shown below. The indicated range of disciplinary actions in response to specific offenses is to be used as a guide and is not intended to be all inclusive.  At the occurrence of any of the listed offenses, or any that are not listed, the appropriate discipline shall be determined after the particular circumstances of the case have been carefully considered. The severity of the discipline should always be related to the seriousness of the offense.  Individual offenses calling for oral or written reprimands could cumulatively result in suspension or termination.

Employees who voluntarily fail to report to work for three consecutive workdays and fail to contact the agency during this time period will be considered to have voluntarily resigned.  All performance related problems should be addressed by the guidelines established in the Employee Performance Management System (EPMS) Policy.

Disciplinary Guideline Chart

Offense

Range of Disciplinary Action

Abuse of leave (does not apply to leave protected by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA))

Oral Reprimand to Termination

Arrested or indicted for alleged violation of Federal or State criminal laws (other than minor traffic offenses)

Suspension to Termination

Carelessness or negligence that results in personal injury or damage to property 

 Oral Reprimand to Termination 

Conduct that interferes with or adversely affects the normal operations of the University 

 Written Reprimand to Termination

Conduct such that the employee's presence on the job could or would threaten the safety or health of the employee or others or such that the employee's fitness to perform assigned duties is affected 

 Written Reprimand to Termination

Conviction of Federal, State, or Local criminal laws (other than minor traffic offenses) 

 Termination

Discourteous treatment of or failure to maintain satisfactory working relations with others, including visitors, students, faculty or staff

Oral Reprimand to Termination

Drinking alcoholic beverages on the job

Oral Reprimand to Termination
(Refer to Section 8-11-110 of the SC Code of Laws; Act on Alcoholism)

Engaging in unlawful work stoppages, slowdowns, or strikes

Suspension to Termination

Excessive Absenteeism (does not apply to absences protected by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA))

Oral Reprimand to Termination

Excessive use of telephone or computer for personal matters 

 Oral Reprimand to Termination

Failure to obtain or maintain a license or certificate required as a condition of employment

Suspension to Termination

Failure to report to work and not notifying supervisor for up to two work days

Written Reprimand to Termination

Falsification of records or documents 

Suspension to Termination 

Fighting

Written Reprimand to Termination

Gambling during work hours

 Written Reprimand to Termination 

Gross misconduct or conduct unbecoming a University employee which substantially affects the employee's fitness to perform assigned duties 

 Written Reprimand to Termination

Habitual tardiness or failure to observe assigned work hours

Oral Reprimand to Termination

Horseplay 

  Oral Reprimand to Termination

Insubordination 

Oral Reprimand to Termination

Interference with other employees work 

 Oral Reprimand to Termination

Leaving work station without authorization 

Oral Reprimand to Termination 

Loafing

Oral Reprimand to Termination

Malicious use of profane/abusive language to others 

  Oral Reprimand to Termination 

Mishandling of department funds or documents 

Written Reprimand to Termination 

Negligence

 Oral Reprimand to Termination

Negligent operation of a State vehicle

 Suspension to Termination

Operation of a State vehicle or equipment without required valid license 

Suspension to Termination 

Possession of illegal drugs with the intent to distribute on or off the job 

 Termination (action must be in accord with the University Drug and Alcohol Policy) 

Possession of or using illegal drugs on the job or at a University-sponsored activity 

 Termination (action must be in accord with the University Drug and Alcohol Policy) 

Refusal to cooperate during an administrative investigation 

 Written Reprimand to Termination

Reporting to work under the influence of alcohol 

 Suspension to Termination (action must be in accord with the University Drug and Alcohol Policy) (Refer to Section 8-11-110 of the SC Code of Laws; Act on Alcoholism)

Reporting to work under the influence of drugs

 Suspension to Termination (action must be in accord with the University Drug and Alcohol Policy) 

Sexual Harassment (contact and coordination through the Clemson University Office of Access and Equity) 

 Written Reprimand to Termination (refer to the Clemson University Harassment Policy)

Sleeping while on duty

 Written Reprimand to Termination

Theft of University property or the property of students, employees, or visitors

Termination 

Unauthorized distribution of written or printed material of any kind 

 Written Reprimand to Termination

Unauthorized leave (e.g. leave requested by employee but denied by supervisor)

Written Reprimand to Termination

Unauthorized possession of firearms on the job 

 Termination

Unauthorized release of confidential information 

 Written Reprimand to Termination

Unauthorized solicitation or sales on state premises 

  Oral Reprimand to Termination

Unauthorized use of State equipment or property 

Oral reprimand to Termination 

Unauthorized use of State equipment or property for personal gain 

 Suspension to Termination 

Violation of University Drug and Alcohol Policy 

 Written Reprimand to Termination (action must be in accord with the University Drug and Alcohol Policy)

Violation of State or Federal laws, rules, or regulations

 Written reprimand to Termination 

Violation of University or department rules, policies, or procedures

Written reprimand to Termination 

Willful destruction or misuse of property or equipment

  Written reprimand to Termination

Willful false statement to a supervisor

 Written Reprimand to Termination

Working on non-University job or business during work hours 

 Oral Reprimand to Termination

Workplace violence

 Termination (refer to the Clemson University Workplace Violence Policy)

The language used in this document does not create an employment contract between the employee and the agency. The document does not create any contractual rights or entitlements. The agency reserves the right to revise the content of this document, in whole or in part. No promises or assurances, whether written or oral, which are contrary or inconsistent with the terms of this paragraph create any contract of employment.

 



THE LANGUAGE USED IN THIS DOCUMENT DOES NOT CREATE AN EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT BETWEEN THE EMPLOYEE AND THE AGENCY. THE DOCUMENT DOES NOT CREATE ANY CONTRACTUAL RIGHTS OR ENTITLEMENTS. THE AGENCY RESERVES THE RIGHT TO REVISE THE CONTENT OF THIS DOCUMENT, IN WHOLE OR IN PART. NO PROMISES OR ASSURANCES, WHETHER WRITTEN OR ORAL, WHICH ARE CONTRARY OR INCONSISTENT WITH THE TERMS OF THIS PARAGRAPH CREATE ANY CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT.

Contact HR

Clemson University 
Office of Human Resources

108 Perimeter Rd,
Clemson, SC 29634
ATTN: Employee Records

Phone: 864.656.2000
Fax: 864.656.4672
Email: ContactHRSC@clemson.edu

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