Jul 20, 2024  
2023-2024 University Handbook 
    
2023-2024 University Handbook FINAL VERSION - Closed for Revisions

Chapter 4E - Personnel Rules (University & Academic Staff)


Section 18 - UW System Administrative Policy 1232 (formerly UW-Stevens Point UPS Operational Policy - GEN 13) Layoff for Reasons of Budget or Program

(To see who has authority to approve changes to this section, please see the Approval of Changes  page)

Section 19 - UW System Administrative Policy 1233 (formerly UW-Stevens Point Operational Policy GEN 14), Grievance Procedures

(To see who has authority to approve changes to this section, please see the Approval of Changes  page)

Section 20 was deleted

Section 21 - Performance Management

(To see who has authority to approve changes to this section, please see the Approval of Changes  page)

Section 22 - Disciplinary Policy and Procedures for University Staff

(To see who has authority to approve changes to this section, please see the Approval of Changes  page)

CHAPTER 4E PERSONNEL RULES

Section 18: UW System Administrative Policy 1232 (formerly UW-Stevens Point UPS Operational Policy - GEN 13) Layoff for Reasons of Budget or Program

Original Issue Date: July 1, 2015

Last Revision Date: September 21, 2017

Institutional layoff procedures shall include the following elements:

A. Temporary and Probationary Employment

Whenever practicable, employees in temporary or project appointments in the operational area shall be reduced or discontinued before invoking the layoff procedures.  Employees in a probationary period may be dismissed prior to laying off non-probationary employees, providing that those remaining employees have the necessary skills, knowledge, and ability to perform the work.

B. Layoff Selection and Plan

Prior to providing layoff notice to any employees, the Department Head, Director, Dean, or equivalent administrator shall develop a plan under which a layoff will occur. The plan will document:

  • the reason(s) for the layoff
  • the anticipated date of separation (management should consider the total budgetary cost of separating an employee through layoff when determining an appropriate separation date)
  • a listing of all vacant positions in the department which are in the same branch, role and competency level with a status of recruitment activity for those positions
  • what efforts the department made to avoid the layoff of the selected employee(s)
  • a brief explanation why action other than layoff is not possible
  • a management contact

This plan will be submitted to Human Resources and upon notification to the employee, shared with the University Staff Council.

Temporary layoffs are not subject to layoff procedures within this policy. Employees subject to layoff will be determined and evaluated by using the following criteria:

  • Needs of institution to deliver services;
  • Relative skills, knowledge, or expertise of employees;
  • Length of service of employees (e.g., at UWSP); and
  • Other appropriate criteria.

Upon the employer’s layoff notification to an employee, the employee may appeal the layoff decision through the appropriate grievance procedures (see UW System Administrative Policy 1233: Grievance Procedures (formerly UW-Stevens Point UPS Operational Policy GEN 14: Grievance Procedures).

Once the layoff group has been determined, any employee from within the affected layoff group may elect to retire or voluntarily be laid off to avoid involuntary layoffs.  The employer reserves the right to rescind a layoff notice and/or postpone the layoff date.  However, once the employee has been officially notified of the intended layoff date, the employer may not make the layoff date any earlier.

C. Notice

Full or part-time staff who are employed where layoff is probable will receive (whenever practicable) written at-risk notification at least 30 calendar days prior to the actual layoff notification.  A full or part-time staff member who is designated for layoff must be given written notice from the Office of Human Resources as soon as practicable, but not less than 30 calendar days prior to the effective date of the layoff.  This written notice will indicate:

  • the reason for the layoff
  • the effective date of the layoff
  • notification that Department of Human Resources will contact them to arrange for a layoff information session, including details on
  • the University’s policy on priority re-employment
  • completion of necessary forms
  • the availability of aid in seeking other employment
  • eligibility to apply for unemployment insurance benefits
  • other benefits information for separating employees
  • the right of permanent employees to appeal the layoff through the Grievance Policy

At the request of the affected employee, University Staff Council will receive both the at-risk and layoff notices when distributed to employees. At any time during the notification of layoff period and with mutual agreement of the employee and appointing authority, a lateral movement or demotion to a different position within the University may be made outside of a recruitment process.

D. Alternatives to Layoff

An employee may be moved to another position regardless of being designated in layoff status.  The employee shall receive written notice as to why he/she is being moved. Involuntary employee movements are not meant to circumvent the recruitment process and should only be used to avoid a reduction in force.  The employee may choose not to accept the involuntary reassignment and as a result be laid off.  If the employee accepts the involuntary reassignment, the employee’s rate of pay and applicable benefits will not decrease if the movement is lateral; however, the rate of pay may be adjusted with a downward or upward movement.

E. Employee Benefits upon Layoff

Employees enrolled in State Group Health Insurance at the time of layoff are eligible to continue coverage under the group plan following the layoff date. The employee’s coverage will continue through the month in which premiums are paid and the employer contribution towards the health insurance premium is paid for an additional three (3) months. The employee must pay his/her share of the health insurance premium during these months to maintain coverage. The employee may pay the premium through payroll deduction, personal check, or converted sick leave credits.  UW System employees who terminate due to layoff are eligible for the conversion of their sick leave credits to pay for State Group Health Insurance provided eligibility requirements are met under the Accumulated Sick Leave Conversion Credit (ASLCC) and Supplemental Health Insurance Conversion Credit (SHICC) programs as outlined in Wis. Stat. §§ 40.05(4)(b) and 40.95.

Health insurance premiums are paid from sick leave credits until the earliest of the following events:

  1. The credits are exhausted;
  2. The first of the month following the begin date of other employment offering comparable health insurance coverage;
  3. Five (5) years have elapsed from the date of layoff (no time restriction if the employee has over 20 years of WRS creditable service at time of layoff); or
  4. The employee dies. If the employee dies, the employee’s eligible survivors can continue to use remaining sick leave credits to pay for health insurance.

Coverage under all other benefit plans ends according to the normal termination rules of the plan.

F. Consideration for Vacant Positions-within UW System

An employee who is or will be affected by a layoff may request, in accordance with the hiring authority’s requirements, to be considered for other vacancies within the UW System. Such consideration does not guarantee an interview or mandatory job offer.  Every effort will be made to maintain active positions for employees so long as this effort does not adversely affect the operational area’s budget or impede the area’s ability to fulfill its mission.  A laid off employee may apply for vacant positions in the same manner as a current employee for a period of three (3) years from the date of layoff.

G. Three-Year Restriction on Rehiring for Duties of Laid Off Employee

For three (3) years from the anniversary of the layoff, no person may be employed in a position with an expectation of continued employment in that operational area to perform duties reasonably comparable to the duties of the laid off employee, without first making an offer of return to the laid off employee. An employee’s failure to accept such an offer of return shall terminate the rights under this section.

As determined by the appointing authority, an offer of appointment is considered reasonable if it meets all of the following five (5) conditions as of the date of the offer:

  1. The position is one that the employee would be qualified to perform after customary orientation provided to new workers in the position.
  2. The position is the highest-level position available within the agency to which the employee could either transfer or demote.
  3. The work hours required are the same as those previously worked; both in number and shift.
  4. The position is located at a worksite that is within reasonable proximity of the original worksite.
  5. The pay range of the position offered is no more than three (3) pay ranges lower than the pay range of the position from which the employee was laid off.

NOTE: Some positions that meet each of the five conditions above may become unreasonable due to exceptional circumstance.

 

Section 19: UW System Administrative Policy 1233 (formerly UW-Stevens Point UPS Operational Policy GEN 14), Grievance Procedures

Original Issue Date: July 1, 2015

Last Revision Date: March 11, 2020

1. Policy Purpose

To establish a grievance procedure as a problem solving mechanism for University Staff with an expectation of continued employment who wish to appeal working conditions, discipline, layoff or dismissal.

2. Background

The UW-Stevens Point grievance policy establishes a dispute resolution process for university staff. UW-Stevens Point has developed formal grievance procedures in accordance with Wis. Stat. § 36.115(4) (which requires the Board of Regents to develop personnel systems that are separate and distinct from the personnel systems under Wis. Stat. Chapter 230), and with UW System Administrative Policy 1233: Grievance Procedures (formerly UW-Stevens Point UPS Operational Policy GEN 14: Grievance Procedures). Effective July 1, 2015, the grievance procedures found at Chapter ER 46 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code and any procedures established by the Office of State Employment Relations are no longer applicable to current UW System University Staff employees. Therefore, this policy and these procedures provide grievance procedures for University Staff employees that hold positions with an expectation of continued employment at UW-Stevens Point.

3. Definitions

Chancellor’s designee: an administrative officer with the authority to hear and adjust personnel and policy actions when they have been grieved through this policy. At UW-Stevens Point, the Chancellor’s designee for University Staff grievances is the Director of Human Resources.

Discipline: any action taken by UW-Stevens Point with respect to a University Staff member with an expectation of continued employment, which has the effect, in whole or in part, of a correction of undesirable behavior.

Disciplinary actions: include written reprimands, suspension, demotion and reduction in base pay.

Dismissal: separation from employment for disciplinary or performance reasons.

Grievance procedure: the process through which certain working conditions, discipline, or dismissal of a UW System university staff member can be appealed. All university staff with an expectation of continued employment at UW-Stevens Point are eligible to file a grievance through this provision.

Impartial Hearing Officer: a grievance review committee Chair or designee (University Staff Grievance Subcommittee Chair or designee) established through the University Staff Council, an arbitrator from a roster developed by UW System Administration of arbitrators, an arbitrator from the Wisconsin Employment Relations. Commission (WERC) roster of neutral decision makers not employed by the WERC or an arbitrator employed by the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission.

Just Cause: a standard that is applied to determine the appropriateness of a disciplinary action. The elements of determining whether just cause exists include:

  • Whether the employee had notice of reasonable workplace expectations and the potential consequences if those expectations were not met;
  • Whether a full, fair and complete investigation was undertaken by the employer before discipline or discharge to determine whether the employee violated expectations;
  • Whether the employer obtained substantial evidence of the employee’s guilt;
  • Whether workplace expectations were applied equitably and without discrimination; and
  • Whether the degree of discipline imposed was reasonably related to the seriousness of the employee’s offense and the employee’s past record.

Layoff: separation from employment for reasons of budget or due to the discontinuance, curtailment, modification, or reduction of a program.

University Staff: are members of the university workforce that contribute in a broad array of positions in support of the university’s mission and are not exempt (e.g., hourly) ¹ from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

University Staff Grievance Subcommittee: is a standing subcommittee of the University Staff Council, consisting of one elected representative from each employee group represented on the University Staff Council (i.e., Academic Affairs Division, Business Affairs Division, Student Affairs Division, and at-large), and one appointed representative from the Department of Human Resources. Three additional members shall carry “replacement status” for hearing grievances in the event of an absence or conflict of interest of on the standing subcommittee members. Service on the University Staff Grievance Subcommittee will be conducted without loss of pay and subcommittee members will be released from their regular duties to participate.

[¹Note: All FLSA exempt employees holding positions in the State of Wisconsin classified service as of June 30, 2015, are given the choice to remain in the University Staff for as long as they retain their existing positions, or to be voluntarily reassigned to a position that UW- Stevens Point has designated as either an Academic Staff or Limited Appointment position - see UW System Administrative Policy 1287 (formerly UPS Operational Policy TR 3)]

4. Grievable Subjects

University staff with an expectation of continued employment may file a formal grievance contesting layoffs and disciplinary actions if the employee alleges that the action was taken without just cause. These grievances may be moved through the steps of the grievance procedure as follows:

  • Layoffs may be grieved only through Step Two (A or B) of the grievance procedure. Written reprimands may be grieved only through Step One of the grievance procedure. Other disciplinary actions may be grieved only through Step Two of the grievance procedure. Dismissals may be grieved beginning at Step Two A or B, and Step Two A grievances may be processed through Step Three of the grievance procedure.
  • University staff may file a formal grievance regarding working conditions if the employee alleges that the employer failed to comply with an applicable policy, rule, or procedure. Such a grievance may allege that the University failed to provide safe working conditions. Grievances regarding working conditions may be grieved through Step One of the grievance procedure.

5. Non-Grievable Subjects

Actions not grievable under this policy include the following:

  • Verbal warning or verbal reprimand
  • Termination of an appointment for temporary employment
  • Release from probation
  • Performance evaluations
  • Any matter alleging sexual harassment or matters alleging harassment and/or discrimination on the basis of protected class (e.g., age, race, creed, color, sex, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, or arrest and conviction record) whose complaints are appropriate for the procedures of the UW-Stevens Point Department of Human Resources, and other state and federal laws.
  • Activities falling under management rights are not grievable. Management rights include, but are not limited to:
  • Utilizing personnel, methods, and means in the most appropriate and efficient manner possible as determined by management
  • Managing and directing employees
  • Determining the size and composition of the work force
  • Determining the content of written policies and procedures
  • Managing the job evaluation system, which includes position classification, the establishment of position qualification standards, and the allocation of positions to classifications.
  • Hiring, promotions, assigning or returning employees
  • Establishing reasonable work expectations

6. Right to Representation

University staff employees have the right to representation at any meeting, including a hearing, if an employee reasonably believes that the meeting could lead to discipline. If appropriate notice is provided to the employer, employees and their representatives are permitted a reasonable amount of time to investigate and prepare a grievance without loss of pay. The representative has the right to observe and take notes. They have a limited right to speak but can serve as an advisor to the employee including repeating certain points stated by employee, explaining significance of points made by the employee, and speaking about practices at the work site. The representative has no right to speak for the employee in response to questions.

7. Grievance Procedure

Prior to filing a formal grievance, university staff employees are encouraged to first seek resolution of their grievances through informal discussions with their immediate supervisors, and/or the UW-Stevens Point Disciplinary Policy and Procedures for University Staff. The Department of Human Resources may serve as a resource to mediating a resolution. If such a discussion does not resolve the matter, an employee may file a formal grievance following the procedures set forth in this policy.

University Staff serving a probationary period do not have the right to file grievances on layoff or release from probation.

Discipline or dismissal of a University Staff member with an expectation of continued employment may be imposed only for just cause.

The University Staff Grievance Subcommittee will be provided with copies of letters of discipline issued to University Staff employees.

Grievances shall be submitted on a form provided by the employer. Only one subject matter may be covered in any one grievance. Each grievance shall describe the facts upon which the grievance is based and the relief sought by the employee.

The employee and the appropriate grievance step respondent may agree in writing to extend the time limits in any step of the grievance procedure. Parties are strongly encouraged to resolve situations prior to a grievance being filed, but upon filing, parties are encouraged to resolve grievances at early stages of grievance procedures.

UW-Stevens Point is prohibited from retaliating against a grievant for filing a grievance or against a representative or witness who participates, or is scheduled to participate, in grievance proceedings.

At any stage of the process, the employee may choose to submit a written statement in lieu of participating in a grievance hearing. The written statement will be considered in the same manner as an in-person hearing.

The grievant has the burden of proving his/her case by a preponderance of the evidence, except in the case of a discipline or dismissal, for which the University will have the burden of proving just cause by a preponderance of the evidence.

If an employee fails to observe any grievance procedures time limits, the grievance will be considered resolved. Time limits may be extended only by mutual agreement between the grievant and a UW- Stevens Point management designee.

Grievances shall be pursued in accordance with the following steps and time limits. Working condition and written reprimand grievances may be processed through Step One only. Layoff and discipline grievances will begin at Step One and may proceed no further than Step Two. Dismissal appeals will begin at Step Two, as outlined below, and may proceed to Step Three.

 

  STEP ONE STEP TWO STEP THREE
    Step 2A Step 2B (employed as of June 30, 2015)  
Working Conditions X      
Written Reprimand X      
Other Discipline X X X  
Layoff X X X  
Dismissal   X X X

Step One:

If informal attempts to resolve a matter through discussion between an employee and supervisor are not successful, a grievance may be filed. Grievances shall be filed with the employee’s supervisor or with an HR representative no later than thirty (30) calendar days from the date the grievant first became aware, or should have become aware (with the exercise of reasonable diligence), of the matter grieved. Grievances shall be submitted on the UW-Stevens Point Employee Grievance Report (Attachment 1). Each grievance shall describe the facts upon which the grievance is based and the relief sought. Within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt of the written grievance, the respective university officer, or another appropriate management designee, will meet with the grievant to hear the grievance. The grievant shall receive a written decision no later than seven (7) calendar days after this meeting. If the subject of the grievance is not discipline or layoff, there will be no further opportunity for appeal.

Step Two A (Standard Procedure):

When an employee has filed a grievance alleging that a discipline decision (not including written reprimands) was not based on just cause and is dissatisfied with the Step One decision, the employee may appeal the decision to an impartial hearing officer. To file at Step Two A, the grievant must inform the Department of Human Resources of his or her desire to appeal within ten (10) calendar days from receipt of the answer in Step One. The Department of Human Resources will review the options for an impartial hearing officer with the employee. The employee must select which impartial hearing officer will hear the case at the time the appeal is filed. The arbitration fee, if applicable, shall be split equally between the University and the employee. In the event the employee prevails, the University will pay the full arbitration fee. An appeal of a dismissal will begin at Step Two and must be filed within twenty (20) calendar days of the date of written notice of dismissal.

At issue before the impartial hearing officer will be whether just cause for the discipline or discharge exists. For cases involving layoff, the issue before the impartial hearing officer will be whether the applicable layoff procedure was followed.

The impartial hearing officer may refuse to hear a grievance for lack of timeliness or because the attempted grievance involves a non-grievable issue.

The impartial hearing officer will be charged with hearing the case within thirty (30) calendar days of the filing, and responding within fourteen (14) calendar days of the hearing. The deadlines may be extended by mutual agreement. Hearings may be recorded. The hearing shall be closed unless it is opened by mutual consent.

The impartial hearing officer will make a report and recommendations to the Chancellor or to another appropriate management designee within fourteen (14) calendar days of the hearing. Within twenty (20) calendar days of receipt of the report and recommendations, the management designee shall issue a statement accepting or rejecting the findings of the impartial hearing officer and explaining how the recommendations will be implemented.

Step Two B (Grandfathered Procedure for Certain University Staff):

An employee who held permanent status in State employment prior to July 1, 2015, and according to the provisions of Wis. Stat. § 36.115(6) retains Wisconsin Statute Chapter 230 appeal rights, instead of using the Standard Procedure may appeal a disciplinary action (suspension, demotion, or reduction in base pay), layoff or discharge using the following special procedure. Such a grievance may be appealed directly from Step One to the Chancellor’s designee within ten (10) calendar days from receipt of the answer in Step One. The Chancellor’s designee will meet with the grievant to hear the grievance within thirty (30) calendar days of the filing, and will answer within fourteen (14) calendar days of the hearing. The deadlines may be extended by mutual agreement.

The grievant shall have the right to be represented at the hearing. The hearing shall be closed unless it is opened by mutual consent.

Thereafter, if the employee is still dissatisfied with the decision as issued by the Chancellor’s designee, the employee may appeal the decision to the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC) under Wis. Stat. § 230.44(1)(c) within thirty (30) calendar days from the date of the decision being appealed. If an appeal to WERC is filed, no further steps in the grievance process will apply. The decision of the WERC may be subject to judicial review, but no appeal to the UW Board of Regents is available.

Step Three - UW Board of Regents Review:

For cases of dismissal only, a grievant that is dissatisfied with the Step Two A (Standard Procedure) decision may appeal the decision to the UW Board of Regents. If the matter is not appealed to the Board of Regents within thirty (30) calendar days, the grievance will be considered ineligible for Board review. Upon receiving an appeal, the President of the Board shall refer the appeal to the Board of Regents Personnel Matters Review Committee. In accordance with Board of Regents Bylaws, the Committee shall conduct a review based on the record of the matter created by the impartial hearing officer and the Chancellor’s designee, and it shall prepare recommended findings and a decision, and shall transmit them to the full Board for final action. The full Board may confirm the Committee’s recommendations, the Chancellor’s designee’s decision, or it may direct a different decision. No further appeal shall be available to the parties.

UW-Stevens Point is prohibited from granting relief that is retroactive beyond thirty (30) calendar days immediately preceding the filing of the grievance at the first step. No financial award may be ordered for any employee beyond back pay and benefits actually lost.

For information about the operation of the grievance procedure or how to appeal an action, contact the Department of Human Resources at 715-346-2606.

8. Related Documents

UW-Stevens Point Disciplinary Policy and Procedures for University Staff

UW System Administrative Policy 1233: Grievance Procedures (formerly UW-Stevens Point UPS Operational Policy GEN 14): Grievance Procedures

Wis. Stat. § 36.115(4)

Wis. Stat. § 36.115(6)

Wis. Stat. § Chapter 230

Wis. Stat. § 230.44(1)(c)

9. Policy History

April 12, 2016: Links, contact information updated (phone number added), and formatting to align with UWSP policy formatting.

April 20, 2017: University Staff Council revisions to revise University Staff Grievance “Committee” to “Subcommittee,” clarify membership of the University Staff Grievance Subcommittee, and clarify “days” as “calendar days.”

December 5, 2019: Updated the definition of the Impartial Hearing Officer from the entire University Staff Grievance Subcommittee to University Grievance Subcommittee Chair or designee to be in compliance with Legislative Audit Bureau audit.

Attachment #1

UW- Stevens Point Employee Grievance Report

Reporting form is located on page 6 in the UW System policy document, which is found at the following site: https://www.wisconsin.edu/ohrwd/download/policies/ops/gen14.pdf

Section 20

(Section 20 was deleted from the Handbook)

Section 21: Performance Management

UW-Stevens Point

UW System Administrative Policy 1254 (formerly UPS Operational Policy HR 5): Performance Management

SUBJECT: Employee Performance Management

Original Issue Date: 03/16/2018

Last Revision Date: 10/5/2022

1. Policy Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide a framework for the process fostering continued performance improvement and development of university employees. A performance management program provides employees with clear objectives, ongoing and valuable feedback, professional development, and recognition for work well done, which improves the institution.

Standardized performance management systems for performance and merit based compensation changes will be in alignment with this policy.

This policy applies to full- or part-time non-instructional Academic Staff (Categories A and C) and University Staff (including temporary employees), Limited Appointees, and Faculty members who supervise non-faculty individuals. This policy does not govern the evaluation of Faculty, Academic Staff B, or student employees.

Although this policy does not provide requirements for all employee categories, these guidelines are best practices and are therefore encouraged for every employee, regardless of category.

2.Background

Regent Policy Document 20-20 adopted September 6, 2013, and Wisconsin Statute Chapter 36.09 (4m) provide university and academic staff the primary responsibility for formulations and review, representation in the development of all policies and procedures concerning university and academic staff members, including university and academic staff personnel matters.

Wis. Stat. § 230.37 and Wis. Admin. Code§ ER 45.03 require performance evaluations for university staff.

UWSP Chapter 4B Personnel Rules, Section 5  provided foundational evaluation policy and procedures. This policy supersedes the Evaluation of Category A and C Academic Staff section.

Effective July 1, 2015, UW System Administrative Policy 1254 (formerly UW System UPS Operational Policy HR 5): Performance Management provides a foundational framework for the performance management program for all UW System employees.

3. Definitions

General Performance Management Terms:

Coaching: The process in which an individual provides guidance to an employee for the purposes of professional development.

Competencies: The skills, knowledge, and experience needed to excel in the position.

Development: Growth and improvement.

Improvement: The act or process of making something better; enhancing value or excellence.


Policy Terms:

Ongoing appointment: An appointment at UW-Stevens Point for an annual or academic year term, or a temporary or project appointment [regardless of appointment length] may be renewed.

Performance review: A formal process of identifying, measuring, and developing job-related employee performance.

Performance management: A continual process of establishing employee expectations, ongoing coaching and feedback, and measuring outcomes in the formal performance review of employees.

Performance management model: A tool used by the institution to evaluate and document past performance, future goals/objectives, and projected improvements.

Performance management program: A program to create and support the performance management process.

4. Policy

All UW-Stevens Point employees, other than employees-in-training and student hourly employees will participate in the performance management process. This policy provides the framework for the process that will foster continued improvement in the work performance of UW-Stevens Point employees and serve as a component in the determination of merit-based salary adjustments and career progressions (promotion/rank/reclassification) for eligible employees.

The UW-Stevens Point performance management program will ensure:

  • All supervisors are adequately trained to evaluate performance and are held accountable for providing performance evaluations;
  • Individuals holding an ongoing appointment (reference this policy’s definition) shall receive a formal annual performance review;
  • Employees are provided clear expectations for the work they perform;
  • Employees receive ongoing information about how effectively they are meeting expectations;
  • Merit increases are consistent with employee performance;
  • Opportunities for employee development are identified and provided;
  • Employee performance which does not meet expectations is addressed;
  • Management evaluates employees in a fair and consistent manner.

5. Foundational Program Requirements:

A. Foundational Performance Management Program

  • Each individual’s performance management program, performance, and review is based on criteria and standards that reflect the unique requirements of each position;
  • As appropriate, this includes service and professional development
  • Performance management model(s) will have a numeric rating scale and if more than one model is available, the number rating scales will be the same for all models.
  • Individuals who supervise (oversees work, has hiring/promoting/firing authority, etc.) non-instructional staff will have leadership and management competencies and/or goals within their performance management plan and will be reviewed on such performance.
  • Supplemental feedback (feedback from peers, customers, students, partners, etc.) may be gathered to support the performance and development of a staff member.
    • A supplemental review survey may be done at the discretion of the employee, supervisor, or Human Resources. When supplemental review survey is chosen to be completed, it should be completed prior to the formal annual review, discussed during the performance review conversation, and submitted with the annual performance review materials.
 

B. Foundational Employee Responsibilities

Following the current University performance management program:

  • Clearly communicate to your direct supervisor about how you would like to develop and/or improve;
  • Understand the skills, knowledge, and experience needed to excel in your current position and aspired position(s) (career planning), as appropriate;
  • Receive feedback and take the initiative to optimize your performance;
  • Seek learning opportunities and experiences aligning with departmental/institutional needs and career growth plans;
  • Contact HR for development and career planning, as needed.

C. Foundational Supervisor Responsibilities

Following the current University performance management program:

  • Understand the skills, knowledge, and experience needed to excel in each of your department’s positions;
  • Work collaboratively with employees to provide and ensure objectives, expectations, and goals are clear and understood;
  • Provide feedback (both positive and constructive) in a timely, respectful manner;
  • Become a coach to your employees to help them realize their full potential;
  • Identify development needs and provide support and resources for growth;
  • Ensure completion and submission of all direct reports’ performance reviews to the appropriate administrative office for employees’ personnel files in accordance with this policy and the associated performance management program;
  • Contact HR for guidance, coaching, and training to increase your management/leadership skills, knowledge, and abilities.

D. HR Responsibilities

  • Create and support all aspects of the performance management program to ensure it aligns with the University’s mission, vision, and long-term strategic goals;
  • Provide performance management training and guidance for all employees;
  • Collaborate and inform appropriate governance groups when significant procedural or policy changes are proposed

This policy will be reviewed by a joint Ad Hoc Committee consisting of University Staff and Academic Staff Council in collaboration with HR on a regular basis, at a minimum of every 4 years and recommend modifications as needed. HR will continually accept feedback for the performance management program and update as appropriate to ensure its effectiveness.

E. Performance Management Disputes

  • Employees have the right to respond to their supervisor’s performance evaluation in writing. The response will be included in the employee’s personnel folder. Disagreements about an employee’s performance management plan should be discussed with the employee’s direct supervisor. If resolution between the employee and supervisor cannot be reached, the employee can contact HR for guidance.
  • Disagreements about a performance management program, including the degree of formality or informality in which a program may be applied, are not subject to the Grievance Procedure. Any such disagreements should be addressed in consultation between the employee, the employee’s direct supervisor, and HR.
  • This policy does not impact or alter already existing grievance policy or procedures.
  • For grievance guidance, contact HR or the appropriate shared governance committee(s).

F. Relationship Between Performance Management and Salary Increases

The result of the performance evaluation is a critical component in determining salary increases both as part of and outside the UW System pay plan. For more information, see UW System Policy 1277: Compensation; UW System Administrative Procedure 1277.B: Compensation: Merit Pay; and UW System Administrative Policy 1278: UW System Pay Plan Distribution Framework for University Workforce.

6. Related Documents

Regent Policy Document 20-20
UW-Stevens Point Mission Statement
UW System Administrative Policy 1254 (formerly UW System UPS Operational Policy HR 5): Performance Management
UW System Administrative Policy 1278 (formerly UW System UPS Operational Policy TC 4): UW System Pay Plan Distribution Framework for University Workforce
Wis. Admin. Code§ ER 45.03
Wisconsin Statute Chapter 36.09 (4m)
Wis. Stat. § 230.37

7. Policy History

06/01/2020: Renamed policy and updated links to align with UW System updates. Effective date: 10/5/2022. Policy updated to the supplemental feedback information based on updated processes and section F to align with UWS policies.

 

Section 22: Disciplinary Policy and Procedures for University Staff

  1. Policy Purpose

The purpose of this document is to provide a framework for the disciplinary procedures for University Staff who have passed probation. While this policy does not apply to University Staff Temporary Employees (USTE) and student employees, it is recommended to use these procedures as guidance.

These procedures on this policy are administered by Human Resources. The policy and procedures are created and updated in collaboration with University Staff Council.

  1. Background

Effective July 1, 2015, UW System Administrative Policy 1241 (formerly UW System UPS Operational Policy GEN 24): Complaint Procedures provides a foundational framework for dismissal of university staff due to conduct and/or performance.

  1. Definitions

Counseling: an informal discussion in which a supervisor discusses concerns regarding an employee’s conduct or performance. 

Demotion: shifting an employee from a position in one classification to a different position in another classification having a lesser degree of responsibility at a lower salary.

Dismissal: separation from employment for disciplinary or performance reasons.

Due process: the process in which an individual is notified of concerns and provided the opportunity to respond to concerns prior to discipline being administered. 

Investigatory Interview: Also known as a Loudermill Hearing is a step within the due process provided to a public employee prior to removing or impacting their employment (e.g., imposing severe discipline). It is the opportunity for an employee to respond to concerns prior to discipline being administered. An employee is also provided the right to bring a representative (any person who is not a witness, to provide emotional support) to an investigatory interview.

Just Cause: a standard that is applied to determine the appropriateness of a disciplinary action. The elements of determining whether just cause exists include whether:

  • The employee had notice of reasonable workplace expectations and potential consequences if those expectations were not met;
  • A full, fair and complete investigation was undertaken by the employer before discipline or discharge to determine whether the employee violated expectations;
  • The employer obtained substantial evidence of the employee’s guilt;
  • Workplace expectations were applied equitably and without discrimination; and
  • The degree of discipline imposed was reasonably related to the seriousness of the employee’s offense and the employee’s past record.

Progressive discipline: the method of using increasingly severe measures when an employee fails to correct a problem after being given a reasonable opportunity to do so.

Suspension: an action taken by the University to temporarily relieve the employee of duties and place the employee on leave without pay.

  1. Policy

An employee who repeatedly or seriously violates the department’s, University’s, or UW System’s workplace expectations or state or federal laws, whether the same or different in nature, may be subject to progressive disciplinary action using just cause and due process.

Generally, the standards for disciplinary action apply to incidents which occur while an employee is working for the University. For incidents occurring off the job, disciplinary action will be determined based on the facts and circumstances of the situation, which include and are not limited to, the employee’s ability to continue to perform their current role and whether it adversely impacts the University’s ability to carry out its assigned mission. 

  1. Pre-Disciplinary 

  1. Prior to discipline occurring, counseling may be an appropriate first step to address concerns regarding an employee’s conduct or performance. A supervisor conducts the below steps to provide counseling.
  1. Meet with the staff member to:
  • Explain the performance or behavioral concern;
  • Share the impact of the performance (quality, impact on colleagues/students, etc.)
  • Ask the employee what might be the cause of the issue and what resources or support is needed to ensure effective performance/conduct;
  • Discuss resources/support which can be provided;
  • Confirm expectations regarding performance, provide copies of applicable policies, and provide a timeline for improvement
  • When the issue is misconduct, the behavior must cease immediately.
  1. Document the discussion informally through email or memo and provide it to the employee. The document does not go into the employee’s personnel file.
  1. Where appropriate, individuals will be placed on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) prior to formal disciplinary action. A PIP may be provided concurrently with one of the informal steps listed above. PIP information is available through the Human Resources website. The PIP is placed in the employee’s personnel file.
  1. A verbal notice by the immediate supervisor is required as an informal discipline action prior to moving into formal disciplinary action (except as warranted by serious violations). A consultation with Human Resources prior to providing a verbal notice is encouraged. The steps are the same as a counseling and additionally include:
  • A statement in which failure to improve may lead to discipline, up to and including termination, a copy of the disciplinary policy and any other policies violated should be provided;
  • The supervisor provides a copy of the document to Human Resources. However, it does not go into the employee’s personnel file.
  1. University Staff Probationary Employees

The probationary period for each University Staff employee is intended to be a working test period following appointment to an on-going or project appointment. In accordance with UW System Administrative Policy 1250 (formerly UW System UPS Operational Policy HR 1): Job Security, probationary employees may be disciplined without a right of appeal and are subject to dismissal for any single offense or for failure to meet required performance levels during the probationary period. Additionally, an employee who moves between jobs in the UW System or UW-Stevens Point has no guarantee of continued employment if they do not complete probation in the new position. 

  1. Procedures

Prior to disciplinary action, the pre-disciplinary steps must be considered or completed. Disciplinary action normally begins at the lowest step in the Progressive Discipline process. However, discipline may be advanced dependent upon the seriousness of the performance issue or offense. Each step follows just cause and due process. At each stage the immediate supervisor (with hiring/firing authority) consults with Human Resources prior to investigation and administering discipline. Upon initial consultation, Human Resources determines whether the investigation needs to be done in collaboration with Human Resources. Formal discipline is provided verbally/in person, then in writing to the employee, and a copy of the discipline document goes into the employee’s personnel file.

  1. Progressive Discipline

  1. Written Notice

This is the first step of progressive discipline. 

  1. Meet with the staff member to:
  • Explain the performance deficit or behavioral concern;
  • Share the impact of the performance (quality, impact on colleagues/students, etc.)
  • Ask the employee what might be the cause of the issue and what resources or support is needed to ensure effective performance/conduct;
  • Discuss resources/support which can be provided;
  • Confirm expectations regarding performance, provide copies of applicable policies, and provide a timeline for improvement o When issue is misconduct, it must cease immediately;
  • Include statement in which failure to improve may lead to discipline, up to and including termination, a copy of the disciplinary policy and any other policies violated should be provided;
  1. Document the discussion informally, email or memo and provide it to the employee. A copy is sent to Human Resources to be placed into the employee’s personnel file.
  1. Suspension or Decision Making Day

This is a severe form of discipline which can be administered as a step in the progressive discipline procedure following one or more written reprimands, or for the first order of a serious offense. Follow the process under Written Notice. As appropriate, summarize previous informal and formal steps taken to address the issue. For this step, the supervisor may choose suspension or decision making day.

  1. Suspension

A suspension’s length will take into consideration the behavior and severity of the concern. A suspension will not be longer than 30 days.

  1. Decision Making Day

The employee receives an assignment to reflect on their conduct and their relationship with UW-Stevens Point to complete as a paid workday at home. The employee must remain available during that employee’s scheduled shift. If an employee is unavailable without notice and authorization, the employee may be regarded as absent without leave and subject to progressive discipline up to and including termination.

The employee is asked to return to work the following scheduled work day. Upon return, the employee acts using one of the three options below to fulfill Decision Making Day.

Options:

  • Provide a written commitment to solve the problem and/or act in an acceptable level of behavior with an outline of how they will change to ensure an issue will no longer occur or; 
  • Return to work without a commitment creating the possibility of termination or;
  • Resign.
  • Failure to return to work after Decision Making Day may constitute as resignation.
  1. Dismissal or Demotion

This is the most severe form of discipline that can be imposed on an employee. It can be administered as the final step in the progressive discipline procedure following one or more written reprimands, suspension, or decision making day, or for the first order of a serious offense. 

Prior to investigation the immediate supervisor consults with Human Resources. The investigation is done in collaboration with Human Resources. The immediate supervisor and Associate Director of Human Resources may make the discipline determination after consultation with senior division leadership and the Vice Chancellor (and/or Chancellor as appropriate). Where appropriate, a final investigatory interview is conducted by the Chief Human Resources Officer and the division Vice Chancellor to determine disciplinary action.

An employee may be demoted as a form of disciplinary action when an employee’s failure to achieve or maintain performance standards in their current role is the concern.

  1. Investigatory Leave or Temporary Assignment

In some situations, it may be necessary to remove an employee from the workplace pending the outcome of a performance/conduct investigation. An investigatory leave may be appropriate as an interim measure for at least two reasons to:

  1. Allow the investigation to proceed without disruption of evidence, or
  2. Preserve a safe, orderly, and professional work environment. 

An employee remains in paid status during an investigatory leave, University expectations and policies continue to apply. The employee must remain available during that employee’s scheduled shift. If an employee is unavailable without notice and authorization, the employee may be regarded as absent without leave and subject to progressive discipline up to and including termination.

When appropriate, a temporary assignment may be used instead of an investigatory leave.

  1. Appeal

University Staff within the probationary status cannot appeal discipline, including dismissal. University Staff whom have passed probationary status may appeal a disciplinary action to review just cause and due process through the UW System Administrative Policy 1233: Grievance Procedures (formerly University Staff Grievance Procedures GEN 14): Grievance Procedures. 

  1. Related Documents

Regent Policy Document 20-20

UW-Stevens Point Mission Statement

UW-Stevens Point Workplace Conduct Expectations  

UW System Administrative Policy 1254 (formerly UW System UPS Operational Policy HR 5): Performance Management

UW System Administrative Policy 1278 (formerly UW System UPS Operational Policy TC 4): UW System Pay Plan Distribution Framework for University Workforce

Wis. Admin. Code § ER 45.03

Wisconsin Statute Chapter 36.09 (4m)

Wis. Stat. § 230.37

  1. Policy History