July 21, 2024

College updates termination and discipline policy

This archived article was written by: Heather Myers

The College of Eastern Utah recently updated its policy for the termination and discipline of employees after a suggestion from Assistant Attorney General David Jones. However, the Utah Board of Regents mandated the college revise the policy by adding minimal requirements.
This new revision, approved by the Board of Trustees in September, changes section II of the policy. The old 1996 version included policy and procedure 3-2 affirmative recruitment, personal conduct, employee grievance procedure and annual leave in its section II.
The 2005 version defines the policy. “The College attempts to provide continuous employment through planning and the proper selection of employees. Under College policy, disciplinary actions and terminations are expected to be handled in a manner to achieve the least adverse effect upon the employees and the college. However, the College maintains the right to discipline its employees, up to and including the dismissal and termination of an employment relationship.”
The policy adds more definitions of employees where the old policy only defined full-time, part-time and hourly employees. The new policy updates the definition of executives, administrators, professional staff and classified staff. New definitions of probationary period, termination, dismissal, advance notice, summary discharge and cause were added.
The newest policy adds more categories under adequate cause section.
There were also updates to the definitions and regulations concerning medical incapacity and financial exigency or reallocation. The procedure for disciplining and dismissal of each of these categories of employees was revised.
Executives of the college include members of the president’s staff, vice presidents, chief officers and deans. If a person was appointed to his or her executive position while serving as a faculty member with tenure without cause, he or she will return to his or her previous position upon termination unless 30-days notice is given.
Administrators and professional staff have to serve a six-month probationary period. During this period, an individual may be terminated with 10-days advanced notice or equivalent salary without a cause. After the probationary period employees may only be terminated for cause, financial exigency, or a reduction in force.
Classified staff also serve a six-month probationary period. During this time an employee may be terminated without advanced notice or cause. They then must be evaluated by a supervisor and either taken off probation, or put on extended probation. Probation can be extended by a maximum of six months. After a probationary period classified employees may only be terminated for the same reasons as other employees. After three and six months of employment, formal performance appraisals are conducted and thereafter they are conducted on an annual basis.
Medical incapacity is revised in the new policy as well. Employees may be given assignments at a reduced salary or be dismissed because of a physical or mental condition that will not allow the employee to perform his or her duties. Whenever possible a supervisor will provide written notice for one-calendar month for executive, administrative and pro-fessional staff.
Under the termination and discipline of employees, Type I, II and III categories were added. Type I is an oral reprimand or warning and written reprimand or warning. Type II is an extension or reinstatement of probationary period determined by human resource and supervisor for a defined time period and demotion or reduction of status and/or salary, including transssssfer to a lower-level position. Type III includes suspension with or without pay and as a last resort dismal.