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3.48 / Coaching and Corrective Action

Purpose:
The purpose of this policy is to establish a consistent process for incidents of unmet employment expectations, unacceptable performance, behavior and/or misconduct. The processes for incidents involving sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, relationship violence, stalking, and/or discrimination are addressed in separate policies.

Policy Statement:
The University is committed to providing an environment that encourages and assists employees in meeting employment expectations. Failure to meet employment expectations may result in coaching and corrective action. All decisions made regarding coaching and corrective action should be unbiased, non-retaliatory, and non-discriminatory.

Definitions:       

Coaching and Corrective Action - A progressive process by which Employees who fail to meet Employment Expectations are counseled in levels or stages. Leadership uses discretion to determine the level of Coaching and Corrective Action necessary to address the unmet Employment Expectation(s), based on consideration of previous actions taken, severity of the situation, and number of interactions. Although this is a progressive process, there is no requirement to complete any level or stage prior to Involuntary Separation. The original signed documents of each progressive step will be sent to Human Resources (“HR”) to be included in the Employee’s personnel file. Coaching and Corrective Action can include, but is not limited to (next three terms defined): 

Employee Coaching Plan
- A documented verbal discussion between Leadership and the Employee to address minor violations or incidents. The Employee will complete the Employee Coaching Plan form with Leadership and signifies the Employee’s commitment to resolve the unmet Employment Expectation(s). An Employee Coaching Plan form is available via the HR Forms Index.

Written Corrective Action - A written document used to address repeated failures of an Employee to meet Employment Expectation(s), or for an initial violation or incident of a more serious nature. A Corrective Action Memo form is available via the HR Forms Index.

Final Corrective Action - A written document requiring approval by the appropriate HR professional, used to address more serious violations or incidents, allowing an Employee a last opportunity to meet employment expectation(s). Use the same Corrective Action Memo form available via the HR Forms Index.

Employee - An individual who, when hired, provides services on a regular basis in exchange for compensation, receives a W-2, and who does not provide these services as a part of an independent business. 

Employee Assistance Program (“EAP”) Leadership Referral - A meeting mandated by Leadership that requires an Employee to meet with an EAP consultant. The referral is intended for situations in which there is a reasonable belief that internal or external circumstances are influencing an Employee’s performance that may be corrected through the assistance of consulting services conducted by an outside party.

Employment Expectations - The competent, satisfactory and acceptable performance of duties and functions of the job while exhibiting professional behaviors consistent with the University’s policy, procedures, and applicable laws.

Employment at Will -  An employment relationship that continues at the discretion of both the University and the Employee. The University can separate an Employee for any reason at any time, and likewise, an Employee can voluntarily separate employment for any reason at any time. Employment at Will does not preclude compliance with any state or federal law or other University policies.

Administrative Leave - A leave that, temporarily, removes an employee from the University when deemed to be in the best interest of the University. Examples include, but are not limited to, when an Employee is involved, as a complainant, as a respondent, other interested person, during an internal review or investigation of alleged behavior and/or action that may violate University policy, procedures, applicable laws and/or employment expectations. Typically, Administrative Leave will be paid with benefits, however, there may be situations on a case-by-case basis when the leave is unpaid. In those situations, the Employee will be informed of the reason for the determination and provided the opportunity to be heard prior to implementation.

Involuntary Separation -  Occurs when Leadership makes a decision to end the employment relationship. Involuntary Separation requires approval by Human Resources and the appropriate Leadership. Any Employee, who is charged with and/or convicted of a felony offense may be immediately separated from University employment at the discretion of Leadership and Human Resources. An Involuntary Separation of Employment Notice form is available via the HR Forms Index.

Leadership - For purposes of this policy, Leadership includes individuals at the University who have Employees reporting to them, or Department Chairs/Directors.

Procedures:
When an unmet Employment Expectation(s) is identified, Leadership reviews the concerns with the Employee in a timely manner, documents the concern, and applies the appropriate Coaching and Corrective Action. The level of corrective action depends on the nature and severity of the incident(s), previous performance, and other relevant factors. Each situation is considered on a case-by-case basis.
  1. Leadership engages in a face-to-face conversation with the Employee regarding any concern of unmet Employee Expectations. If the Employee works virtually,  a phone conversation with the Employee if needed in place of a face-to-face conversation may take place.
  2. Leadership obtains the appropriate level(s) of approval before administering Coaching and Corrective Action.
  3. Leadership completes the Coaching and Corrective Action documentation and reviews the expectations with the Employee. Leadership seeks commitment for the specific expectations(s) from the Employee.
  4. After reviewing the documentation with the Employee, Leadership provides the Employee the opportunity to add comments. The Employee must provide comments within three (3) University business days of receipt of the Coaching and Corrective Action.
  5. The Coaching and Corrective Action document is signed by both the Employee and Leadership to acknowledge review and receipt of the information.
  6. In instances in which the Employee refuses to sign, Leadership documents “Employee Refused to Sign” on Employee signature line. Signature confirms receipt of the document. Refusal to sign does not void the corrective action.
  7. Leadership sends the original signed document to HR. A copy is maintained by Leadership and a copy is provided to the Employee.
  8. Leadership is encouraged to schedule periodic review sessions with the Employee to assess progress and assist the Employee with meeting Employment Expectation(s).
  9. Leadership works with EAP, as appropriate, to assist the Employee in resolving issues and meeting Employment Expectation(s).
  10. If Employment Expectation(s) are not met, leadership continues Coaching and Corrective Action up to, and including, Involuntary Separation.
Leadership Responsibilities:
  1. Leadership will be knowledgeable of the policy and procedures.
  2. Assists Employee in meeting Employment Expectation(s) by clearly defining goals and objectives.
  3. Engages in face-to-face conversation with the employee regarding any concern of unmet Employee Expectations.
  4. Obtains the appropriate level(s) of approval before administering Coaching and Corrective Action.
  5. Reviews expectations and Coaching and Corrective Action documentation. Seeks commitment for the specific expectation(s) of the Coaching and Corrective Action from the employee.
  6. After reviewing the documentation with the Employee, Leadership sends the original signed document to HR. A copy is maintained by Leadership, and a copy is provided to the Employee.
  7. In instances in which Employee refuses to sign, leadership documents “Employee Refused to Sign” on employee signature line. Signature confirms receipt of the document. Refusal to sign does not void the corrective action.
Employee Responsibilities:
  1. Actively participates in and commits to correcting the unmet Employment Expectation(s).
  2. Seeks direction and assistance from Leadership as necessary to ensure Employment Expectation(s) are met.
  3. Discusses all performance related concerns with Leadership in an effort to resolve issues, and discusses with leadership in the chain of command if needed. Eligible Employees may use Section 3.15, Internal Dispute Resolution Process, should the concern remain unresolved.
Effective Date:
February 23, 2018

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