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PROGRESSIVE DISCIPLINE

APPLIES ONLY TO CLASSIFIED, PERMANENT EMPLOYEES

Process involving escalating punitive measures (e.g., warning, suspension, demotion) used to encourage an employee to modify his or her performance and/or conduct.

If misconduct is significant enough, steps in the progressive disciplinary process may be skipped; in some situations, an agency may immediately terminate an employee.  Your agency's Prohibitions and Penalties (P&Ps) outlines specific types of misconduct and how the agency has decided to respond them.

It is recommended that you consult with your agency's human resources and management prior to initiating discipline to ensure consistent application.

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BASIS OF

Discipline must be based on an offense outlined in NAC 284.646 or 284.650 and, where appropriate, Nevada Revised Statute and agency policies, regulations, procedures and Prohibitions and Penalties.

LEVELS OF

LETTER OF INSTRUCTION (LOI) - A letter of instruction is not part of a progressive disciplinary process, it is a form of coaching.

ORAL WARNING - Verbal communication with the employee that:

  • Identifies the conversation as an oral warning.
  • Identifies the gap between the performance standard and actual performance or identifies misconduct.
  • Establishes standard or outlines employee improvement action plan.
  • Identifies consequences of further performance issues and/or misconduct.

Oral warnings should be documented and a copy of the documentation provided to the employee.  Oral warnings are not submitted to an employee's permanent file and may be grieved.

WRITTEN WARNING - Written notice of discipline documented on the Written Reprimand form.  A written reprimand is submitted to an employee's permanent file and may be grieved.

SUSPENSION - Placing an employee on a leave of absence without pay for up to 30 days which is documented on the Specificity of Charges form.  Suspension of an exempt employee may only be done in week increments (up to 30 days).  A suspension is documented in an employee's permanent file and may be appealed.

DEMOTION - Moving an employee to a class having a lower grade than the class held which is documented on the Specificity of Charges form.  A demotion is documented in an employee's permanent file and may be appealed.

SEPARATION - An employee's separation from employment which is documented on the Specificity of Charges form.  A separation is documented in an employee's permanent file and may be appealed.

PREPARATION

1. Identify the gap between what is expected and what has been delivered or happened.

If a performance issue, consider:

  • Did the employee have the ability?
  • Did the employee have the resources?
  • Did the employee have the authority?

If a misconduct issue, consider:

  • Did the employee clearly understand the rule or policy that was violated?
  • Did the employee know, in advance, that such conduct would be subject to disciplinary action?
  • Is there substantial evidence that the employee violated the rule or policy?

2. Identify and contact consultation resources (e.g., agency's human resources, management, Division of Human Resource Management, agency's legal counsel).

3. Determine the appropriate response (e.g., oral or written warning, suspension, termination) based on the serious of the offense, the employee's history and the agency's prior practice.

4. Compose disciplinary action to include:

  • Clearly outline performance issue and/or misconduct.
  • Clearly identify response (e.g., oral warning, suspension, termination).
  • If applicable, an employee improvement action plan.
  • Identify the consequences to the employee if the problem is not corrected (e.g., another instance will lead to further disciplinary action up to and including separation).

5. Decide where to hold a confidential discussion of the disciplinary action with the employee.

INVESTIGATION

An impartial, fact-finding investigation must be conducted prior to a suspension, demotion or separation.

  • Identify what statutes, regulations, Prohibitions and Penalties or agency policies have been violated.
  • Identify conditions that may have influenced the violation (e.g., visit location of incident).
  • Request statements from any witnesses as soon as possible.
  • Set up meeting with employee and issue the Notice of Employee Rights During an Internal Investigation.
  • Two or more days after providing the employee with a Notice of Employee Rights During an Internal Investigation, meet with employee.
    • Describe allegation(s).
    • Allow employee opportunity to respond to allegation(s).
    • Take notes of meeting.
  • Determine if the agency has consistently applied any rule, policy or standard that was violated.
  • Determine if the employee has been previously disciplined for similar violations within recent history.
  • Ascertain position/perspective of upper management on violation.
  • Document conclusions based on available evidence and facts.
  • Provide a timely verbal or written response to employee (e.g., no finding, oral warning, suspension).

PRE-DISCIPLINARY NOTICE & HEARING

In most circumstances, before an appointing authority may take action to suspend, demote or separate an employee, an employee must be given at least 10 working days notice of the proposed action.  The Specificity of Charges form (NPD-41) must provide the specific violation, the proposed action and effective date.  Additionally, an employee must be informed of the pre-disciplinary hearing.  An employee must be provided the date, time, location and who will be conducting the hearing.  A pre-disciplinary hearing may be scheduled no earlier than 7 working days after the employee receives the notice.

A pre-disciplinary hearing is an informal meeting between the appointing authority (or designated representative) and an employee.  Witnesses are not permitted but an employee may bring a person of his or her choice.  An employee may waive the right to a hearing by submitting a written statement to the appointing authority or designated representative.

LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS

NRS 289 outlines which law enforcement employees are "peace officers" and what additional rights "peace officers" are granted, including additional rights during an investigation that may lead to disciplinary action.

FORMS

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

ASSOCIATED TOPICS