Business Policies and Procedures Manual
Corrective and Disciplinary Action
Corrective actions are preventative measures taken to promote compliance with established policies, rules and expectations. Corrective actions also attempt to improve or modify unacceptable behavior.
Disciplinary actions are formal actions taken when corrective measures fail to correct previous problems. Disciplinary actions are also taken when the seriousness of offenses warrant more formal measures.
Generally corrective and disciplinary actions are progressive, but the University may respond as it deems appropriate to the incident under consideration.
This section and the procedures and advisory guidelines referred to in this section apply to faculty, administrative professional (AP) employees, and civil service employees who are not covered by collective bargaining agreements.
An employee who is covered by a collective bargaining agreement is to refer to the applicable agreement for corrective and disciplinary action rules and procedures.
Civil Service and AP
WSU Pullman Human Resource Services (HRS) is responsible for civil service and administrative professional corrective and disciplinary processes at all WSU locations systemwide.
The Provost’s Office oversees corrective and disciplinary processes for faculty at all WSU locations systemwide.
Civil Service Employees
The following corrective and disciplinary action rules apply to civil service employees:
An individual in a position of authority over the civil service employee, e.g., supervisor, lead worker, or functional supervisor, may take corrective action.
Types of Corrective Action
Examples of corrective actions:
- Verbal warning or reprimand
- Notice of counseling
- Performance improvement plan
- Letter of reprimand
For step-by-step advisory guidelines for corrective actions applicable to civil service employees, refer to the Guideline for Corrective and Disciplinary Action available under Current Employees on the HRS website.
A department may take disciplinary action only after the employee has been issued a pre-disciplinary notice and has had a reasonable opportunity to present reasons either orally at a pre-disciplinary meeting or in writing as to why action should not be taken (see WAC 357-40).
The purpose of disciplinary action is to:
- Prevent recurrences of the act(s)
- Deter others from similar conduct
- Maintain the integrity of the department
Only an appointing authority may impose disciplinary action upon a civil service employee. The appointing authority must provide a pre-disciplinary notice to the employee before imposing disciplinary action.
Types of Disciplinary Action
Examples of disciplinary actions:
- Reduction in pay
For step-by-step advisory guidelines for disciplinary actions applicable to civil service employees, refer to the Guideline for Corrective and Disciplinary Action available under Current Employees on the HRS website.
A civil service employee may appeal a formal disciplinary action within 30 days after the effective date of the action, in accordance with WAC 357-52.
For corrective and disciplinary action rules and procedures applicable to faculty, refer to the Faculty Manual.
Administrative Professional Employees
For corrective and disciplinary action procedures applicable to administrative professional (AP) employees, refer to the Corrective/Disciplinary Action chapter in the Administrative Professional Handbook.
To view the Administrative Professional Handbook, go to the HRS website.
Human Resource Services
Civil service employees, administrative professional employees, and department management are to contact the campus Human Resource Services (HRS) office with questions regarding corrective or disciplinary action for staff employees. HRS offices are located at the Pullman, Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver, and Everett campuses.
Office of the Provost
Faculty and department management are to contact the Office of the Provost with questions regarding corrective or disciplinary action processes for faculty. Some processes for faculty are also managed or investigated by other University entities in advance of corrective or disciplinary action. Contact the Office of the Provost for referral regarding these processes.
Office of the University Ombudsman
The Office of the University Ombudsman is available to all University staff and faculty. The ombudsman is designated by the University to function as an impartial and neutral resource to assist all members of the University community.
The ombudsman provides information relating to University policies and procedures and facilitates the resolution of problems and grievances through informal investigation and mediation. The function of the office does not replace or supersede other University grievances, complaint, or appeal procedures.
Revisions: March 2010 (Rev. 357); July 2005 (Rev 262); Sept. 1982 (Rev. 49); Mar. 1977 – new policy (Rev. 16).