This policy does not apply to faculty. For information about faculty discipline, see the Faculty Handbook.
The College has a progressive disciplinary system which provides employees with opportunities for correction in a fair and transparent manner. In order to maintain and operate the College in the best interest of both the employee and the College, it is necessary that all employees adhere to certain standards of conduct designed to create a friendly, cooperative, and effective work atmosphere. This requires each employee to respect the rights and feelings of others as well as assure that each employee’s personal conduct is not harmful to others or to the College. Any employee who is found to have violated a rule or regulation of the College or the department, will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including discharge. The following steps are typical of the procedure followed to counsel the employee; however, each situation is unique and the College reserves the right to choose the level of disciplinary action it deems appropriate at any time including, but not limited to, immediate termination.
Verbal Counseling. If an employee’s work performance or conduct is unsatisfactory, the supervisor should communicate this information to the employee through personal counseling. The supervisor should also provide suggestions to the employee for work improvement in the form of reasonable and attainable goals. Verbal counseling will be documented and signed by the supervisor and the employee and maintained by the employee’s supervisor.
Written Warning. When verbal counseling does not correct the performance or conduct issue, or when a more serious violation is involved, the supervisor should consult with the Chief Human Resources Officer or their designee to obtain approval to issue a written warning. Once the written warning has been approved, the supervisor and the Chief Human Resources Officer should meet with the employee regarding the deficiencies in performance and/or conduct. The written warning is a written summary of the unsatisfactory performance or conduct as well as any violations of College policy. The warning should also contain reasonable and attainable goals for the employee with specific dates for completion. Both the supervisor and the employee should sign the written warning. The employee may attach a written statement to the written warning. The written warning and any attachments should be forwarded to Human Resources for retention in the employee’s personnel file.
Suspension Without Pay. If a written warning does not correct the performance or conduct, or when a very serious violation is involved, the employee may be given a disciplinary suspension without pay for up to 5 working days. Prior to suspending an employee, the supervisor must obtain approval of the Chief Human Resources Officer or their designee. Once the suspension has been approved, the supervisor and Chief Human Resources Officer should inform the employee of the unsatisfactory performance or conduct resulting in suspension and record the meeting in writing. Both the supervisor and the employee should sign the written record of suspension. The employee may attach a written statement to the written warning. The written record of suspension and any attachments should be sent to Human Resources for retention in the employee’s personnel file.
Termination. If unsatisfactory performance or conduct continues beyond suspension, or in the event of a very serious violation, the employee may be terminated. Each supervisor must gain the written concurrence of the appropriate Vice President or Dean after consultation with the Chief Human Resources Officer before initiating a termination action. The supervisor and Chief Human Resources Officer should meet with the employee to communicate the termination.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of conduct that may lead to discipline, up to and including termination without prior warnings or suspensions as determined by Rhodes in its sole discretion. Rhodes reserves the right to take disciplinary action against or terminate an employee for other conduct it deems unacceptable that is not specifically listed here.
- Threat of violence or physical harm to any individual;
- Stealing property of the College or of another person;
- Damaging property of the College or of another person;
- Reporting to work while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs in violation of college policy;
- Using alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs while on duty in violation of college policy;
- Falsification of time records or other documents;
- Lying in official matters;
- Refusal to accept instructions of authorized supervisor including but not limited to failure to perform assigned duties, insubordination, or disobedience;
- Receipt of three (3) written warnings in one twelve (12) month period;
- Failure to report to work for three (3) consecutive scheduled work days without notice in violation of the Attendance policy;
- Engaging in sexual activity with a student; or
- Sexual or other harassment based on race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information or other protected characteristic.