Staff Handbook

Personal Conduct Policies

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Wright State is a highly respected institution. As a representative of the university, you are expected to maintain high standards of conduct. There may be occasions when employees fail to meet performance standards or to abide by university policies, procedures, and rules. In order to address these situations in a fair and consistent way, Wright State has developed personal conduct policies. These policies are designed to reflect the university’s standards for an orderly and efficient operation. They have been implemented to enhance the work environment and preserve the rights of the employee and the university.

Disciplinary action is normally progressive in nature; that is, repeated causes for disciplinary action or a combination of offenses should lead to application of more serious sanctions. However, some actions are so serious that they warrant bypassing one or all steps in the disciplinary process. The progression may include verbal warnings, written warnings, suspensions, demotions and terminations of employment when necessary. The following information defines and outlines the potential sequence of progressive disciplinary action.

  • A verbal warning is written documentation of an oral discussion between a supervisor and an employee who fails to meet performance standards or exhibits unsatisfactory behavior. A verbal warning is generally issued for a minor offense such as loitering or tardiness.
  • A written warning is issued if the behavior expected to improve from any previous verbal warning(s) is not exhibited within a reasonable period of time or if the offense is of a more serious nature. A copy of the written warning is given to the employee and the original forwarded to Human Resources to be placed in the employee’s personnel file.
  • A suspension results from continued unsatisfactory performance or from the commission of a serious offense. A suspension without pay can vary in length depending on the classification of the employee, the history of problematic behavior and the seriousness of the offense. A classified employee who receives a suspension of more than three days can appeal the suspension to the State Personnel Board of Review.
  • A reduction in pay or demotion in position (temporary or permanent) is sometimes warranted for commission of a serious offense or a finding of just cause that warrants such action.
  • Removal (termination of employment) is the most serious penalty and is imposed when a serious offense has occurred or when previous progressive discipline has not achieved behavior that meets expectations. Immediate removal may occur in cases such as theft of university property or use of alcohol or drugs on duty. A classified employee subject to a removal action can appeal to the State Personnel Board of Review.

When classified employees have exhibited behavior that may warrant progressive disciplinary action more than the standard verbal or written warning recommended, the following procedure is used:

  • The supervisor (and/or department head) writes a memo to Human Resources stating the problem and requesting that just cause and potential disciplinary action be determined. A copy of this letter is sent to the employee.
  • Human Resources will advise the employee in writing of the nature of the charges and of a scheduled meeting date. The employee may bring representation and may request witnesses to provide supporting testimony.
  • The supervisor/department head will be advised of the meeting date and also be notified that witnesses may be requested to attend to substantiate the charges.
  • A meeting will be held for the purpose of investigating all charges and to give employees the opportunity to respond to the allegation(s). The Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) will designate the presiding meeting officer(s).
  • After relevant information has been relayed and relevant documents submitted, a decision will be made by the presiding meeting officer(s) as to whether there is just cause for discipline. If there is just cause for discipline, departmental management will provide a recommendation as to what level of discipline should occur. The CHRO or designee will render a conclusion to the matter, notifying concerned parties in writing.

When unclassified employees have exhibited behavior that may warrant progressive disciplinary action more than a written warning, supervisors are encouraged to contact Human Resources for guidance.