Progressive Discipline-Purpose

The progressive disciplinary process provides the manager with a system of communicating performance problems to the employee and documenting unsatisfactory performance and behavior.  

Samuel Merritt University will address performance and/or behavior issues on an individual basis. Pursuant to the University's at-will employment policy, the University reserves the right to impose whatever form of discipline it chooses, or none at all, in a particular instance. Disciplinary action may include oral warnings, suspension, demotion, probation or involuntary termination. Nothing in this policy should be construed as promise of specific treatment in a given situation.

Managers have primary responsibility for evaluating the performance of their staff and taking disciplinary action when required. In many cases, early feedback regarding performance expectations eliminates the need for utilizing the formalized progressive disciplinary process. However, if performance or conduct problems persist following informal verbal counseling, progressive disciplinary action is necessary. Usually, progressive discipline involves verbal counseling and at least one written warning before an employee is terminated. Exceptions from the normal procedure may occur whenever the manager in consultation with the Director of Human Resources determine that circumstances warrant one or more steps in the process be omitted. Some circumstance may warrant immediate termination with no prior warning.

It should be remembered that employment is by the mutual consent of the employee and the University. Therefore, either the employee or the University can terminate the employment relationship at will, with or without prior notice.

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