Discipline - HR Policy 603

Discipline - HR Policy 603

This policy identifies UAB's disciplinary process for employees. The steps of discipline (oral and written warning, probation, suspension, and dismissal) are listed and described in detail.
Effective Date:
Responsible Party:
None Assigned
Administrative Category:
Applies To:
Material Original Source:

Policy 603 – Discipline

Date Issued: 10/80
Date Revised: 03/14

Regulations and procedures are necessary for the orderly progress of every organization. UAB and UAB Medicine's policies and regulations are intended to facilitate productivity and satisfactory working relationships based on trust, self-discipline, and respect for the rights of others. When violations of policies and regulations do occur, and whenever possible and feasible, UAB and UAB Medicine will work with an employee through a "progressive disciplinary" process to retain employees and to improve an employee’s performance.  The following are progressive disciplinary steps for unsatisfactory job performance, attendance, and other types of offenses or misconduct. Depending on the nature of the issues being addressed, there is no guarantee of previous warnings prior to the termination of employment.

Verbal Warning: A verbal warning may be given by an employee's supervisor for substandard performance, attendance, and other types of minor offenses. The supervisor should keep notes of verbal warnings in the department/unit file. These notes are official documents of UAB and UAB Medicine and may become a part of the employee's official personnel record.

Written Warning: A written warning may be given by an employee’s supervisor for minor violations of policy after prior verbal warning. However, a written warning may be given instead of a verbal warning for first-time misconduct or other serious offenses. All written warnings should be addressed to the employee as a memorandum or on a corrective action form. If there has been a prior verbal warning given to the employee, it should be referenced in the first written warning. The supervisor should ask the employee to sign the written warning as proof of having received it. A signed copy of all written warnings should be placed in the employee’s official, permanent personnel record. If the employee refuses to sign the written warning, that should be noted, and the unsigned copy forwarded to the employee's file.  An employee who receives three written warnings during an 18-month period (whether or not the first two written warnings resulted in probation and/or suspension) may be terminated without proceeding through the remaining steps in the disciplinary process.

Imposed Probation: An employee may be placed on probation by the immediate supervisor with the approval of the department/unit head for a period of 30, 60, or 90 calendar days.  This action normally occurs after written warning, however, is not required. The employee should be given a written memorandum indicating the beginning and ending dates of the probation. A copy of this document should be placed in the employee’s official, permanent personnel record. If an employee fails to progress through, or satisfactorily complete, the imposed probation period or fails to sustain the improved performance, dismissal may occur. Merit wage increases are not given to the employee during this period. Vacation, sick, personal holidays, and ETO/EI/PTO will continue to accrue but will not be granted during this period of imposed probation.

Suspension: Serious offenses or behavioral problems may result in a suspension without pay not to exceed ten working days. Suspension may occur after a prior warning or as the first step if the infraction is serious enough. Employees arrested and charged with a felony, if not discharged, may, at the option of UAB/UAB Medicine, be suspended without pay pending disposition of the case. All suspension notices will be given in writing by the appropriate supervisor, will be approved by the department/unit head, and will be placed in the employee’s official, permanent personnel record. No vacation, holiday, sick time, or ETO/EI/PTO-benefits will be paid during suspension.

Administrative leave without pay may be imposed in cases in which the operation of UAB or UAB Medicine warrants such action. Administrative leave most often is used when it is believed that normal unit operations or safety would be affected or when time is needed to gather information for determining the specific corrective action which needs to be taken. Human Resources should be consulted before administrative leave is imposed and should concur with the decision.

Dismissal: Unsatisfactory job performance, attendance, misconduct, or other serious offenses that continue after prior warning may result in dismissal.  Dismissal may occur without notice and/or without pay in lieu of notice. The recommendation for dismissal must be approved by the department/unit head and a review by the HR Consultant or Employee Relations Office for proper documentation and compliance with policy.  An employee who receives three written warnings during an 18-month period may be terminated without any other steps in the progressive disciplinary process.

Leaders are held to a higher standard. As a result, leadership positions do not necessarily follow progressive disciplinary action. Determinations made about the impact to employee morale, patient safety, and other considerations may warrant immediate dismissal.

Demotion may be used as a remedy and not as a step in the progressive disciplinary process when an employee cannot perform assigned job duties satisfactorily. It is most often used when an employee’s skills are not matched to the job assignment. It may be possible to demote the employee into a position of lower classification in the same department with a resultant decrease in salary

See also Security Incident Procedure for key management personnel.