PURPOSE / SCOPE:
The Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM) progressive discipline policy is designed to provide a structured corrective action process to improve and prevent recurrence of undesirable employee behavior and performance issues.
Every employee has the duty and the responsibility to be aware of and abide by existing rules and policies. Employees also have the responsibility to perform their duties to the best of their ability and to the standards as set forth in their job description or as otherwise established. There may be occasions, however, when performance goals are not met and/or the employee’s behavior is unacceptable to the organization. In these instances, a system of progressive discipline may be used for the purpose of encouraging an employee to correct unacceptable behavior.
The use of progressive discipline does not alter the at-will employment relationship. ICOM reserves the right to combine or skip steps depending on the facts of each situation and the nature of the offense. ICOM reserves the right to take disciplinary action, up to and including termination, at any time, within the boundaries of the law. Outlined below are the steps of ICOM’s progressive discipline:
Step 1--Counseling and Verbal Warning
The employee will be counseled by the supervisor in order to eliminate any misunderstanding concerning rules or expectations, to state clearly what is expected, and to point out the consequences of a further infraction. Employees generally receive no more than two verbal warnings related to a specific cause for disciplinary action. A verbal warning is documented and retained in the supervisor and/or personnel file.
Step 2--Written Warning Notice
A written warning notice will be used to document the fact that the employee has been officially advised of the precise nature of his/her misconduct and warned that any future violations may result in further disciplinary action, including disciplinary suspension, extended or reduced probationary period, or possible dismissal.
The employee may make a written statement on the warning notice and is requested to date and sign the notice. If the employee refuses to sign the notice, the supervisor will indicate that fact. A copy of the notice will be given to the employee, with one copy retained by the supervisor and one copy placed in the employee’s personnel file.
Performance Improvement Plan – a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) is often completed at the time of a written warning. Whenever an employee has been involved in a disciplinary situation that has not been readily resolved or when he/she has demonstrated an inability to perform assigned work responsibilities efficiently, the employee may be given a final warning and placed on a PIP. PIP status will last for a predetermined amount of time not to exceed 90 days. Within this time period, the employee must demonstrate a willingness and ability to meet and maintain the conduct and/or work requirements as specified by the supervisor and the organization. At the end of the performance improvement period, the performance improvement plan may be closed or, if established goals are not met, dismissal may occur.
Step 3--Probation and/or Suspension
Probation -- An employee who demonstrates inability to perform duties assigned or is otherwise an unsatisfactory employee may be placed on probation by his/her supervisor for a period not to exceed three (3) months. The reason(s) for probation will be documented by the supervisor and placed in the employee’s personnel file. During or at the end of the probationary period, if the employee has not achieved satisfactory performance, the supervisor may terminate the employee.
Suspension -- An employee may be suspended without pay as a disciplinary measure as a result of repeated infractions of rules or job duties or the serious nature of the misconduct. A suspension may also occur in order to fully investigate and determine the facts involving an alleged offense.
Suspension may be for any period up to ten (10) working days. A copy of the suspension notice will be placed in the employee’s personnel file. A suspended employee is not entitled to any wages or other payment during the period of suspension. This does not apply to wages already earned. A suspended employee may not use accumulated paid leave or other benefits to compensate for wages lost during a period of suspension.
If the suspension is of an investigatory nature and the investigation determines that there is not misconduct by the employee, the employee will be paid for the time lost as a result of the investigative suspension. If a charge is warranted, the employee shall not be paid for the period of the investigative suspension.
An employee may be terminated with or without notice as deemed appropriate by his/her supervisor and with the approval of the Dean or President.
If at any time throughout the progressive disciplinary process an employee believes that he or she is being treated in an unfair or unprofessional manner, the employee may request a meeting with the next level supervisor within ICOM’s organizational structure and chain of authority.
VP of Human Resources & Organizational Development