4.38 Employment, Discipline, and Dismissal of Full-Time Classified Employees

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I. Regulations

A. All full-time Classified employees shall be hired through the procedure set forth in CPCC Policy 4.02 and in accordance with the College's equal employment program.

B. Classified employees shall serve an initial new position probation period of six months at the beginning of their first full-time position at the College. At any time during the new position probationary period, the College may dismiss the employee without notice or reason. During this period, evaluation of the employee shall be informal in nature. At the end of the new position probationary period, the employee's supervising administrators will determine whether the employee shall be retained and shall so inform the employee and the Associate Vice President for Human Resources. Classified employees will not be asked to serve an additional new probation period for other full-time classified positions obtained at the college, unless there is a break in full-time service. At any time after the completion of the initial new probationary period, the College may discipline and/or dismiss a Classified employee in accordance with this policy.

II. Corrective Discipline

A. When an initial new position probation no longer applies, supervisory/administrative efforts  should, whenever possible, be concentrated on preventing serious job performance and/or conduct problems from occurring rather than on disciplining employees. If disciplinary measures are necessary, it is essential that:

1. Each problem is investigated by the immediate supervisor/administrator so that the facts of the situation are known.

2. Whenever possible, any action taken is primarily corrective rather than punitive and is appropriate to the offense.

3. The dignity of the employee is respected.

B. Categories of Corrective Discipline

1. Counseling

Counseling by an employee's immediate supervisor/administrator will normally be the first effort to correct the employee's performance or conduct deficiencies.  When an employee's work or conduct is unsatisfactory, and if counseling does not correct the situation, progressive discipline consisting of increasingly stronger disciplinary action will normally be followed. The College administration will determine which step of discipline is required based upon the nature and/or severity of the offense. If an offense is of sufficient severity, disciplinary action may begin at a more advanced stage, up to and including immediate dismissal. Therefore, the College maintains the right to dismiss any employee, as outlined in this policy, without providing for counseling and/or any or all of the following corrective disciplinary measures.

2. Verbal Warning

A verbal warning may be issued in an attempt to correct relatively minor occurrences of inappropriate performance and/or conduct.

3. Written Warning

A written warning may be issued for a repetition of an offense covered in a previous Verbal Warning or the first occurrence of a more severe offense.

4. Final Written Warning

A final written warning (with or without performance/conduct probation and/or unpaid suspension) may be issued for the first occurrence of a very serious offense(s) or may be issued for repeated lesser offenses which have been identified by the immediate administrator and not corrected by the employee despite previous disciplinary action(s).

a. The final written warning is considered a last chance and if an employee does not achieve improvement in performance/conduct, dismissal will normally be the result.

b. The Unit Vice President (or designee) and the Associate Vice President of Human Resources (or designee) must review the final written warning prior to it being issued to the employee.

c. If deemed appropriate, an unpaid suspension may also accompany the final written warning as a severe reprimand.

5. Involuntary Reassignment or Demotion

An involuntary reassignment or demotion may be issued as a method of addressing employee performance and/or conduct matters.

a. Involuntary reassignments and demotions must be reviewed by the Associate Vice President of Human Resources (or designee) and approved by the Unit Vice President (or designee) and the President prior to implementation.

b. Involuntary reassignment or demotion shall be documented by written notification addressed to the employee. The notification will include reasons for the reassignment or demotion, as well as the consequences of continued or additional performance and/or conduct problems.

6. Suspension

a. An employee whose continuing presence is not considered to be in the best interest of the College may be suspended with or without pay in accordance with CPCC Policy 4.28 II.

b. Such action shall be taken by the Unit Vice President (or designee) based upon the written recommendation of the employee's supervising administrators and shall require the approval of the President. 

c. In the event of a suspension pending the final decision of a dismissal issue, if it is finally decided that the employee is not to be dismissed, the employee shall be entitled to receive any pay which has been withheld and shall be reinstated without loss of status or benefits, unless unpaid suspension is imposed as disciplinary action.

III. Reasons for Dismissal of a Non-Probationary Classified Employee

Any employee may be dismissed at any time with or without previous disciplinary action, for any of the following reasons:

A. Dereliction of Duty

Dereliction of duty shall include, but not be limited to, prolonged neglect of job responsibilities or failure to perform in a proper and acceptable manner such duties as are prescribed by the Board of Trustees or administration of the College.

B. Serious Misconduct

Serious misconduct shall include, but not be limited to, conviction of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude resulting from actions taken on or off College premises; conduct amounting to culpable negligence, willful disregard of express directives of the College; or a refusal to follow written policies, rules, regulations, and procedures of the College.

C. Impairment

Impairment shall include, but not be limited to, a declaration of judicial incompetence, or the lack of ability to perform normal and requisite job duties and responsibilities due to continuous physical and/or mental disability for a period of more than eight months.

D. Discontinuation of a Position

Discontinuation of a position may be necessary if the position to which the employee is assigned is discontinued as a result of institutional financial exigency, reorganization, or program reduction.

E. Reduction in Force

A reduction in force may be necessary if multiple positions are discontinued as a result of institutional    financial exigency or program reduction.          

IV. Procedure for Dismissal of Classified Employees

A. If an employee who has successfully completed the New Position Probation period exhibits performance and/or conduct that is judged to be so unsatisfactory as to justify dismissal, the employee's immediate supervisor and/or department administrator shall recommend such action.

B. The Associate Vice President of Human Resources (or designee) will review the merits of the recommendation. If deemed necessary, the Associate Vice President of Human Resources (or designee) may schedule a pre-dismissal meeting with the immediate supervisor/administrator, the second-level supervisor/administrator, and/or the employee to review the merit of the recommendation.

C. The Associate Vice President for Human Resources (or designee) will report the findings of the pre-dismissal meeting(s) to the Unit Vice President (or designee) who will provide advice on the appropriate disposition of the case.

D. If the Unit Vice President (or designee) concurs with the recommendation for dismissal, he/she will then provide a recommendation to the President. Upon the President's decision, the employee will be dismissed. The employee will receive, by certified mail, a written notification from the Unit Vice President (or designee) specifying that the dismissal action has been taken. The dismissal action will be effective upon the date indicated in the written notification to the employee.

E. If the employee being dismissed believes such action is not justified, the employee may request a review by the President of the action. Such request must be made within 10 working days after receipt of the notification letter. The decision of the President will be final.

Approved by Cabinet: July 13, 2009; August 30, 2010