5.3 Disciplinary Procedures

Discipline is a progressive process which should generally begin with the supervisor privately discussing with the staff member his/her areas of unsatisfactory performance or conduct to make certain that the staff member understands what is unsatisfactory and future expectations. The supervisor should maintain a written record of the date and content of such discussions. Formal disciplinary procedures may become necessary when the staff member does not satisfactorily improve after such informal discussions. If it is necessary to discipline a staff member, it is expected that:

  • The problem be investigated promptly to determine the facts;
  • The disciplinary action be appropriate to the offense and that, where possible, it be corrective rather than punitive in nature; and
  • The staff member's dignity is respected at all times. With reasonable cause, a staff member's personal possessions on University premises, email and other electronic files may be subject to search by the University.

Formal disciplinary procedures will generally follow the pattern of written warning, suspension and termination, although steps may be skipped depending on the gravity of the circumstances.

In appropriate circumstances, a staff member may be placed on disciplinary probation for a period not to exceed 90 days, during which time the supervisor may assess the staff member's ability to meet expectations for the position. Where such probation is based on unsatisfactory job performance, a performance improvement plan should accompany all disciplinary probations so that the staff member's progress toward meeting expectations can be objectively monitored and assessed.