Procedure 5.30.01 - Corrective Action - Disciplinary Action and Performance Improvement Plans

Corrective action encompasses disciplinary action and performance improvement plans, whether applied together or separately.  The causes for corrective action to include counseling, warning, performance improvement plans, suspension, and/or dismissal fall into two categories: (a) causes relating to performance of duties, and (b) causes relating to personal conduct detrimental to the college. Causes for corrective action shall include, but not be limited to:

Performance of Duties 

  1. Inefficiency or incompetence in the performance of duties.
  2. Negligence in the performance of duties.
  3. Careless, negligent, or improper use of college property or equipment.
  4. Failure to maintain satisfactory and harmonious working relationship with the public and/or employees.
  5. Improper use of sick leave privileges.
  6. Pattern of failure to report for duty at the assigned time and place.
  7. Failure to obtain or maintain a current license or certificate required by law as a condition for performing the job.

Personal Conduct 

  1. Engaging in gross, infamous, or notoriously disgraceful conduct or other conduct prejudicial to the college.
  2. Conviction of a felony.
  3. Conviction of a criminal act involving immoral or dishonest conduct.
  4. Misuse of college funds.
  5. Falsified job information to secure position with the college.
  6. Participation in any action that would in any way seriously disrupt or disturb the normal operation of the institution.
  7. Willful damage or destruction of property.
  8. Willful acts that would endanger the lives and property of others.
  9. Possession of unauthorized firearms or lethal weapons on the job.
  10. Refusal to accept a reasonable and proper assignment from an authorized supervisor (insubordination).
  11. Reporting to work under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  12. Acceptance of gifts in exchange for “favors” or “influences.”
  13. Wrongful disclosure of confidential information from official records.
  14. Engaging in incompatible employment or serving a conflicting interest.
  15. Taking part in political management or political campaigns prohibited.
  16. Unlawful harassment to include sexual harassment and sexual misconduct under Title IX.
  17. Making false or misleading statements, deliberately or willfully, whether verbal or written, in connection with any official college business or records.
  18. Any other incident deemed by the college administration to adversely affect the reputation and well-being of the college.

Depending on the severity or nature of the action, the College Leadership Team will determine which step of correction action is required.  If an offense is of sufficient severity, corrective action may begin with disciplinary action at an advanced stage, up to and including immediate dismissal. Therefore, the College maintains the right to suspend or dismiss any employee, as outlined in this policy, without providing for any or all the following disciplinary actions or performance improvement plans.  Disciplinary action may include verbal warnings, written warnings, suspension with or without pay, or termination of employment (dismissal).

Except for situations that may warrant disciplinary action at a more advanced stage, employees who are disciplined for unsatisfactory performance of duties or personal conduct should receive at least three warnings. First, a verbal warning to the employee documenting the deficiency(ies) in performance which was/were discussed, and the improvement(s) required.  Second, a written warning which will serve notice upon the employee that a continuation of the deficiencies in performance may result in further disciplinary action including a final written warning, suspension, loss of pay, or dismissal.  Third, if offered to the employee, a final written warning is considered a last chance, and if an employee does not achieve improvement in performance/conduct, dismissal will normally be the result.


Counseling by an employee’s immediate supervisor/administrator will normally be the first effort to correct the employee’s deficiency(ies) in performance of duties or personal conduct. When an employee’s work or conduct is unsatisfactory and if counseling does not correct the situation, warnings may be used as a way of placing the employee on notice about unacceptable performance or conduct and progressive discipline consisting of increasingly stronger disciplinary action will normally be followed.

Verbal Warning

A verbal warning may be issued in a first attempt to correct occurrences of inappropriate performance and/or conduct.  When implementing a verbal warning the supervisor will take the following actions and document them on a Corrective Action form:

  1. Document that counseling has taken place or why counseling was not conducted.
  2. Review with the employee exactly what is expected of him/her and why.
  3. Explain to the employee how he/she has not met the requirements and why his/her performance has been unacceptable.
  4. Allow the employee to give the reasons for his/her actions or failures and make suggestions for corrections.
  5. Establish a reasonable time for the employee to correct the problem.
  6. Review with the Human Resources Office and any intermediate supervisor the contents of the verbal warning prior to a delivery of the Corrective Action form to the employee by the supervisor.

Written Warning

A written warning may be issued for repetition of an offense covered in a previous verbal warning or the first occurrence of a more severe offense.  All pertinent information shall be contained in the written warning and documented on a Corrective Action form, to include the date and nature of the initial offense, the investigative information, and the decision of the immediate supervisor. There shall be a space where the affected employee shall be given the opportunity to respond in writing to the warning.

Before issuing the written warning, the Director of Human Resources and the appropriate VP and Dean must review the contents of the warning on the Corrective Action form which will include a notice to the employee that a continuation of the practice may result in dismissal.

Performance Improvement Plan

A Performance Improvement Plan should be used once a written warning or more advanced disciplinary action has been issued.  The (PIP) is designed to facilitate constructive discussion between a faculty/staff member and his or her supervisor and to clarify the work performance to be improved.  It is implemented when it becomes necessary to help a faculty/staff member improve his or her performance. The supervisor develops the PIP with the purpose of outlining expectations and activities to help the employee to attain the desired level of performance.

Final Written Warning

A final written warning may be issued for repeated lesser offenses that have been identified by the immediate supervisor and not corrected by the employee despite previous disciplinary action(s) or for the first occurrence of a very serious offense(s).

  1. The appropriate Vice President and the Director of Human Resources must review the final written warning on a Corrective Action form prior to it being issued to the employee.
  2. If deemed appropriate, a paid/unpaid suspension may also accompany the final written warning.

Suspension With/Without Pay  

  1. Suspension is a disciplinary action that may be used at the President’s discretion. Such disciplinary suspension may not exceed 10 working days without pay, except for the suspension of an employee because of a pending criminal charge.
  2. When the immediate suspension is made, the appropriate Vice President and the supervisor will tell the employee to leave the college property at once and remain away until further notice.
  3. A written statement on a Corrective Action form must be prepared giving the circumstances and facts which led to the decision for suspension and a copy furnished to the employee at a reasonable later date.
  4. Failure of the employee to report back to work when requested, or at the suspension expiration date, will be considered a termination of his/her employment, and any subsequent reinstatement or re-employment shall be new employment.
  5. Any suspension must be fully documented on a Corrective Action form, stating:
  1. Beginning date
  2. Reasons for action
  3. Brief description of plans and procedures for solving problem
  4. Signature of appropriate levels of authority
  5. At the conclusion of the suspension, dates and details of the action taken shall be placed in the appropriate personnel file.

Dismissal of Employees

Before an employee is dismissed because of unsatisfactory performance of duties or personal conduct, the following should occur:

  1. With the assistance of the Director of Human Resources, the supervisor will prepare a written summary of the case and forward to the appropriate vice president and President for review.
  2. A copy of the notice of dismissal will be placed in the employee’s file.

An employee is considered at-will and may be suspended or dismissed without warning relating to personal conduct detrimental to college or state service to avoid undue disruption of work; or to protect the safety of persons or property; or for other reasons determined to be serious enough to warrant such action.

Right to Appeal

Any employee who is disciplined by written warning, suspended, or dismissed for performance of duties or personal conduct will have access to due process according to Title VII and Title IX protection by appealing the decision through the grievance procedure.

Position elimination or Reduction in Force may be necessary at any time because of institutional financial exigency, reorganization, program reduction or elimination.  Employees dismissed because of position elimination or Reduction in Force do not have access to due process by appealing the decision taken by the College.


Revised:  March 19, 2018, September 9, 2022

Reviewed: September 9, 2022