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Handbook of Operating Procedures
Chapter 3 - Staff
Publication Date: October 31, 2018
Responsible Executive: VP for Business Affairs


3.03 Discipline and Dismissal of Classified Employees


I. POLICY STATEMENT


It is the policy of The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) to encourage fair, efficient and equitable solutions for problems arising out of the employment relationship and to meet the applicable requirements of state and federal law.


II. RATIONALE


The purpose of this policy is to provide a procedure for the discipline and dismissal of classified employees who are subject to its provisions.  Classified employees are at-will employees who serve without tenure.  No provision of this policy shall confer rights to employees that are contrary to the employment-at-will doctrine.


III. SCOPE


This policy and procedures are applicable to conduct or job performance of a classified employee that results in a decision to impose a disciplinary penalty of demotion, suspension without pay, or dismissal.  It does not apply to:

  1. University police or faculty who are subject to other approved discipline or dismissal procedures. Please refer to HOP 2.13 Termination and Nonreappointment of a Tenured or Tenure-Track Faculty Member for faculty;
  2. Suspension with pay pending investigation of allegations relating to an employee;
  3. Appointed positions where the decision not to offer reappointment to persons whose appointment for a stated period of one year or less expires at the end of such period;
  4. Administrative and professional (A&P) employees;
  5. Persons who are employed in positions that require student status as a condition of employment; or
  6. Dismissal of employees:
    1. Who occupy positions that are dependant upon funding from a specific source and such funding is not received.
    2. As a result of a reduction in force.
    3. Due to financial exigency.
    4. During any probationary period of employment.
    5. Who are appointed at a per diem or hourly rate and work on an as needed basis.
    6. Who have not attained or maintained the necessary clearance, certification, or licensure for their positions.
    7. Who have exhausted applicable leave entitlements.

IV. WEBSITE ADDRESS FOR THIS POLICY


http://www.utsa.edu/hop/chapter3/3-3.html


V. RELATED STATUTES, POLICIES, REQUIREMENTS OR STANDARDS


UTSA or UT System Policies or the Board of Regents Rules & Regulations

  1. Board of Regents’ Rules & Regulations Rule 30601: Discipline and Dismissal of Classified Employees
  2. Board of Regents’ Rules & Regulations Rule 30103: Standards of Conduct
  3. UTSA HOP 3.01 Annual Non-Faculty Performance Evaluation Program
  4. UTSA HOP 3.04 Grievances of Non-Faculty Employees

V. CONTACTS


If you have any questions about HOP 3.03, Discipline and Dismissal of Classified Employees, contact the following office:

Human Resources - Employee Relations
210-458-7891
er@utsa.edu


VI. DEFINITIONS


None


VII. RESPONSIBILITIES


  1. Employee
    1. Is expected to become familiar with performance criteria for his or her particular job and with all rules, procedures and standards of conduct established by the UT System Board of Regents, UTSA and the employee’s department or unit.  
      1. An employee who does not fulfill the responsibilities set out by such performance criteria, rules, procedures and standards of conduct may be subject to adverse personnel action.
    2. Maintains satisfactory work performance and/or meets reasonable and objective measures of efficiency and productivity. 
  2. Supervisor: Judges employee's work performance with evaluation of the quality and quantity of work performed.

VIII. PROCEDURES


  1. Conduct Subject to Disciplinary Action
    1. Work Performance: Work performance is to be judged by the supervisor's evaluation of the quality and quantity of work performed by each employee. Failure of an employee to maintain satisfactory work performance standards or to meet a reasonable and objective measure of efficiency and productivity may constitute grounds for disciplinary action including dismissal.
    2. Unacceptable Conduct: All are expected to maintain standards of conduct suitable and acceptable to the work environment.  Disciplinary action, including dismissal, may be imposed for unacceptable conduct.  Examples of unacceptable conduct include, but are not limited to:
      1. Falsification of military records, time sheets, personnel records or other institutional records;
      2. Neglect of duties;
      3. Smoking anywhere on UTSA campuses;
      4. Gambling or participating in lotteries or any other games of chance on the premises at any time;
      5. Soliciting or collecting money or circulating petitions on the premises other than within the rules and regulations of UTSA;
      6. Bringing intoxicants or drugs onto the premises of the University, using intoxicants or drugs on the premises at any time, having intoxicants or drugs in one’s possession on the premises at any time, or being under the influence of intoxicants or drugs on the premises at any time;
      7. Abuse or waste of tools, equipment, fixtures, property, supplies or goods of the University;
      8. Creating or contributing to unhealthy or unsanitary conditions;
      9. Violations of safety rules or accepted safety practices;
      10. Failure to cooperate with supervisor or co-worker, impairment of function of work unit, or disruptive conduct;
      11. Disorderly conduct, harassment of other employees (including sexual harassment) or use of abusive language on the premises;
      12. Fighting, encouraging a fight or threatening, attempting or causing injury to another person on the premises;
      13. Theft, dishonest or unauthorized use of institutional property, including records and confidential information;
      14. Creating a condition hazardous to another person on the premises;
      15. Destroying or defacing University property or records or the property of a student or employee;
      16. Refusal of an employee to follow instructions or to perform designated work that may be required of an employee, or refusal to adhere to established rules and regulations; or
      17. Repeated tardiness or absence, absence without proper notification to the supervisor or without satisfactory reason or unavailability for work.
  2. Discipline Procedures: The following procedures will be followed when an employee who is subject to this policy is demoted for disciplinary reasons, suspended without pay, or dismissed.
    1. The supervisor will review the evidence and the proposed disciplinary action with the Employee Relations Director or his or her designee.
    2. Once the supervisor has sought and obtained the concurrence of the Employee Relations Director, or his or her designee, he or she must then obtain the concurrence of the department head or administrative equivalent to whom he or she reports before proceeding with the proposed disciplinary action.
    3. The supervisor shall inform the employee, in writing, of the reasons for the proposed disciplinary action, and the facts upon which the supervisor relies.  The employee shall be provided with an opportunity to respond to the charges, either verbally or in writing, within a reasonable time not to exceed two (2) working days and to persuade the supervisor that the grounds for the disciplinary action are mistaken or incorrect before a final decision is made to take disciplinary action.  This pre-disciplinary notification serves as an opportunity to avoid mistaken decisions to impose discipline and is not intended to definitely resolve the propriety of the disciplinary action being considered.
    4. If the supervisor is not persuaded by the employee’s response that the decision to take disciplinary action is incorrect or mistaken, the supervisor will proceed to impose the disciplinary action.  The supervisor shall inform the employee, in writing, of the following:
      1. Whether the disciplinary action is a demotion, suspension without pay or dismissal and its effective date.
      2. A specific period for a suspension without pay, not to exceed one (1) month.
      3. The specific incident, conduct, course of conduct, unsatisfactory work performance, or other basis for the disciplinary action.
      4. Any previous efforts to make the employee aware of the need to change or improve work performance or conduct.
      5. Reference to any relevant rule, regulation or policy.
  3. Effect Upon Employee Benefits: An employee who is demoted or suspended without pay continues to accrue vacation and sick leave, to be covered by group insurance, and to be entitled to other employee benefit programs in accordance with University policy.  If a demotion or suspension without pay is appealed and the appeal of the demotion or suspension is successful, the employee shall be entitled to payment for wages lost as a result of the demotion or suspension.  An employee whose employment is terminated will cease to accrue vacation and sick leave, will no longer receive coverage by group health insurance except to the extent authorized under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), and will no longer be entitled to other UTSA employee benefit programs.  Terminated employees should contact the Human Resources Benefits Department to address all benefit issues, including future insurance coverage.  If an appeal of dismissal is successful, the employee shall be reinstated to the same or similar position and shall be entitled to payment of back wages less any unemployment compensation insurance benefits received by the employee after the date of dismissal.  Employee benefits such as vacation and sick leave shall be credited back to the date of dismissal.   
  4. Procedure for Written Appeal: Disciplinary actions resulting in dismissal, suspension without pay, or demotion may be appealed by the affected employee pursuant to the process set out below by submitting a written request for a hearing to the vice president or administrative equivalent for the employee’s department. The request must be made within ten (10) working days following the date of the disciplinary action. The failure of the employee to submit the appeal in a timely manner shall constitute a withdrawal of the appeal.  The vice president or administrative equivalent shall, at his or her discretion, either hear the appeal in person or appoint a delegate(s) to hear the appeal.  The hearing shall be conducted as soon as practical, pursuant to the following procedures:
    1. Disciplinary actions resulting in dismissal, suspension without pay, or demotion may be appealed by the affected employee pursuant to the process set out below by submitting a written request for a hearing to the vice president or administrative equivalent for the employee’s department. The written appeal must be made within ten (10) working days following the date of the disciplinary action.  The written appeal must be delivered to the supervisor who signed the disciplinary action.  Once the written appeal is submitted, no additional changes or additions may be made unless granted by the vice president or administrative equivalent.  The failure of the employee to submit the appeal in a timely manner shall constitute a withdrawal of the appeal. 
    2. A written appeal shall contain:
      1. A clear and concise statement of the reasons the employee believes the disciplinary action to be inappropriate;
      2. The reason(s) the employee believes the disciplinary action decision should be changed;
      3. The name(s) and contact information of any witness that may have information relevant to the employee’s disciplinary action;
      4. The specific remedy sought by the employee;
      5. Any additional relevant information to be considered in support of the employee’s written appeal; and
      6. The name and contact information of the employee’s representative, if any. 
    3. Within five (5) working days following the receipt of the written appeal, the employee’s supervisor shall submit the employee’s written appeal, the supervisor’s written response and all documentation relevant to the disciplinary action to the vice president or administrative equivalent.  A copy of the employee’s personnel file may also be submitted by the supervisor to the vice president or administrative equivalent, if requested. 
    4. Within ten (10) working days following receipt of the information from the supervisor, the vice president or administrative equivalent will render a written decision.  The written decision will be mailed to the employee’s last known home address that is maintained by The University of Texas at San Antonio’s Human Resources Department.  The employee is responsible for keeping the Human Resources Department notified of his or her current mailing address.  The decision of the vice-president or administrative equivalent is final.
  5. Records of Disciplinary Action: Copies of all documents pertaining to disciplinary actions shall be filed in the employee's personnel file.

X. SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR INITIAL IMPLEMENTATION


None


XI. FORMS AND TOOLS/ONLINE PROCESSES


None


XII. APPENDIX


None