Williams College Employee Handbook
Disciplinary Policy & Procedures
Unsatisfactory job performance or violations of College rules and regulations can result in disciplinary action. Supervisors are expected to deal with such situations in a timely and fair manner. In cases where unsatisfactory job performance or inappropriate workplace behavior have occurred, employees will be informed of the nature of the problem(s), and expectations and time frame for correcting the situation. However, if the employee fails to show expected improvement in the areas identified within the established period, the staff member may be suspended without pay or separated from College employment. Serious breaches of rules and regulations or gross negligence in the performance of work, may result in immediate suspension without pay or dismissal from employment, depending on the severity of the offense.
Below are the steps managers, academic chairs and supervisors are expected to follow in progressively disciplining an employee for poor performance or bad behavior. They are intended to be fair, and allow the employee opportunity for improvement where possible. It is important to note that the College retains the right to determine the sequence of discipline in any case.
NOTE: Written warnings must be forwarded to the Director or Associate Director of Human Resources prior to review with the employee.
The supervisor should inform the employee of the nature of the unsatisfactory performance and indicate the improvement expected in a face-to-face meeting. The supervisor will make a written notation of the discussion for his or her own records to document that the oral warning was given.
If the unsatisfactory performance continues or reoccurs, the supervisor will again discuss the problem with the employee and the employee will be given a written warning which will state the nature of the unsatisfactory performance, the improvement expected, and the time frame in which the improvement should occur. A copy of the letter will be sent to Human Resources and placed in the employee's file.
The employee will be allowed a reasonable period of time to correct the problem as specified in the written warning. If the problem is one that can be easily corrected, the improvement may be expected immediately. If the problem is more complex, a longer period may be appropriate.
In the event the behavior is not corrected or improved it may be necessary to send a more forceful message in the form of a second written warning. Following the completion of the period of time specified in the first written warning, a second written warning may occur if the supervisor feels that further improvement is necessary. Again, a copy of the letter should be sent to the Director of Human Resources and placed in the employee's file.
Suspension or Discharge
If the expected improvement is not achieved by the date specified or if the problem reoccurs, the employee may be suspended without pay or separated from College employment, depending on the severity of the problem(s). The employee will be provided with written notice of the action taken by the supervisor or department head. In the case of a suspension without pay, a reoccurrence of the problem upon return to work will result in immediate separation from College employment.