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progressive discipline state of california

Formal investigations may be conducted by an employee in your department, an employee from another department, a member of the California Highway Patrol, an investigator from CalHR, or even an attorney with a private law firm. Progressive discipline is a method often used by managers/supervisors to provide notice to employees who are not meeting expected or communicated Research Foundation (RF) job performance standards, not behaving appropriately at work, or are not following RF policies and procedures. The progressive discipline process involves applying increasing disciplinary action each time a violation is repeated. Check with your HR office and review the employee’s MOU with your LR office in order to learn about the employee’s right to representation and how to handle the request. Employees denied an MSA can file a grievance under their department’s internal procedures and then file an appeal with CalHR. What should you do? The Class Specification can help you determine what duties are appropriate for an employee in this class. Settlements often involve leaving the adverse action "on record" but reducing the penalty or deleting certain charges. Progressive Discipline. Progressive discipline is a process a manager uses to deal with performance or other job-related issues. Put in practical terms, if simple verbal counseling with the employee doesn’t result in the desired improvement, the next step in progressive discipline is a counseling memorandum (counseling memo), sometimes referred to as a Letter of Correction. So again, always consult with your HR staff and/or the LR office to make sure you understand any MOU guidelines that apply to that employee’s rights. A department taking an adverse action will need to be able to describe what happened; who the witnesses were; when it happened; where it happened; and whether it was an isolated event or part of a continuing pattern. In the “Notice of Adverse Action” your department will write a description of what the employee did and list which of the grounds for adverse action apply. Adverse actions are discussed at greater length in the final section of this guidebook entitled:  Formal Adverse Action Phase. After the department's representative asks you questions about the employee's performance or misconduct (direct examination), you will most likely be asked questions by the lawyer/representative for the employee as well (cross examination). Talk to your HR or LR staff to make sure you understand the employee's rights before the meeting. For example, drunk driving may be job related for a Peace Officer but not for an Office Technician. Special rules apply to some job classifications, especially peace officers, firefighters, Emergency Medical Technicians, and paramedics. 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Avoid joking or trying to “break” the tension; it’s a tense situation, and the best way to handle these types of conversations is to be clear, focused, and fair. When the Notice of Adverse Action is served on the employee, it will have all of the supporting documents attached, including the documentation you have kept in your supervisor’s file describing your performance discussions with the employee. POBR and FPBR establish unique rights whenever a peace officer or firefighter is investigated or interrogated. Discuss the issue with your supervisor, and LR and HR staff to explain your corrective work improvement plan so they can determine whether POBR or FPBR will be triggered and ensure your plan complies with these statutes whenever you are planning to conduct a corrective counseling session with a peace officer or a firefighter. 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The supervisor’s file is an invaluable tool for completing reports, giving recognition and references, figuring out a training budget and reminding yourself of points to cover in probation reports or performance evaluations. In addition, every department has its own procedures, and this Guide is intended to supplement advice you receive from your department’s HR or Legal staff, not substitute for it. Document, document, document. If you are in the process of counseling an employee and you are notified that the employee is due for an MSA, talk over your options with your HR staff  immediately because you generally have a very limited amount of time to stop the MSA from going into effect. The law provides that an employee can be rejected during probation for reasons relating to their qualifications; for the “good of the service” and for failure to demonstrate “merit, efficiency, fitness, and moral responsibility.”  Your HR office can help you figure out if the problems you are experiencing with the employee meet the legal definitions of these terms. Sometimes, you can just celebrate for no particular reason other than to build camaraderie. In other words, receiving an MSA will be used as evidence that you were satisfied with the employee’s performance at the time. Copies of documents you want to use as examples, good and bad, to illustrate your points. The supervisor’s file is different from the employee’s Official Personnel File (OPF). The Add to Home dialog box will appear, with the icon that will be used for this website on the left side of the dialog box. Your day-to-day notes about the employee’s performance. Evidence of the fact that you engaged in progressive discipline is particularly important when you file a formal adverse action. During those five days, or later if the parties agree, the employee is entitled to have a “Skelly Hearing” in front of an impartial manager at a higher level than the employee. The discussion is not an argument and you don’t have to “win” the point. Your notes of any meetings or phone calls with others about the employee’s performance | performance - Text Only (RTF). (All of these classifications are referred to as 'firefighters' pursuant to this law.). An employer can take adverse action against an employee who engages in these behaviors immediately without engaging in the corrective phase or progressive discipline. Whether hand written or electronic, the points to cover are simple: Date of your meeting or conversation (and again, emailing yourself right away takes care of that automatically). There may be “discovery” prior to the hearing itself when the employee can ask the department to produce records or provide the opportunity to talk to possible witnesses. While employers may choose to implement a progressive discipline policy that starts discipline with a verbal warning and progresses to a second or third written warning prior to termination. Make sure your supervisor and HR staff members are aware of the problem and support your plan for addressing it. Verbal warnings (usually 2-3 at the most). The time limits on probationary periods and the statute of limitations on adverse actions, among other requirements, require you to stay on top of problems and address them directly, simply, and quickly. If you are a witness when an objection is made, you will be asked not to answer the question until the objection is resolved by the Judge. Often the supervisor fills that role because the supervisor is the best source of knowledge about the employee and what happened, and therefore best able to help when the department's lawyer has a question about the testimony or other evidence. How do you make yourself available? For example, “Insubordination” may sound the same as “Willful Disobedience” but they have distinct definitions that require slightly different proof. As the immediate supervisor, you may be called as a witness to testify to facts about the employee's conduct and prior counseling or corrective feedback you have given the employee. In the next section we provide detailed guidance on how to document both feedback and corrective action. Neither type is the ideal choice for all situations. (See Title 2 Section 599.684.). "Progressive Discipline" is a policy or practice that, over the years, has fallen out of favor with some employers. It is maintained by the HR office and follows the employee if the employee transfers to another department. Walk the employee around the work site; introduce them to coworkers; if a coworker can help with something especially well, tell the employee about that person. Be advised that an MSA will go into effect for an employee unless you take affirmative action to block it, and that this automatic MSA can make it difficult to take subsequent corrective action with an employee. The purpose of this Guide is to provide supervisors with the basic tools to address poor performance by employees. It is the philosophy of California State University, Bakersfield to follow a program of progressive discipline when an employee fails to meet the required standards of performance or displays inappropriate conduct. Tell them you appreciate it and how it helps the organization. However, if the employee continues to make the same mistakes and you have to move into the Formal Adverse Action Phase, your good faith efforts to correct the problem will show your compliance with the state’s progressive discipline policy. Don’t argue and don’t expect the employee to agree with you. Remember, your goal is to reach an understanding with the employee about how to correct the performance gap. Revision Date: NA. It is the philosophy of California State University, Bakersfield to follow a program of progressive discipline when an employee fails to meet the required standards of performance or displays inappropriate conduct. You point out concrete examples of unacceptable job performance and explain specifically how the employee’s actions fell short of your expectations. The notice of adverse action stated that during her employment, plaintiff had pursued inappropriate personal and … Recognize the good your employees do. Generally the "Skelly Officer" who presides over this due process hearing is a manager who works for your department, but sometimes will come from another state department. Physical discipline, by our definition, comes in three forms. And, again, discuss your options and how to approach the problem with your HR staff and your supervisor, especially if you have addressed this or a similar problem with this employee before. Again, every case is different, so ask questions about what to expect in your department. Who Isn't Covered by Workers' Compensation? Always review the rules in the MOU for the specific employee. These memos outline basic work rules regarding work schedules, calling in and requesting leave time, reporting whereabouts and other department-wide or unit-wide rules. If the employee has violated policies, copies of the policies may be included as well. Then check with your HR office. Progressive discipline may create a reasonable expectation that a specific procedure will be followed and that a reasonable cause for termination is required. It looks like your browser does not have JavaScript enabled. For example, is the unit missing deadlines? Example You make an exception to the at-will status of employees when your policy says, in effect, that they will not be subject to immediate termination for the specific disciplinary infractions included in your progressive discipline policy. Employers must be careful not to void their at-will relationships with their employees. What about using sick leave? This hearing is a short, more informal due process-review of the department’s case and the employee’s defense. Nobody likes to be criticized so do not be surprised if the employee to be defensive. Progressive Discipline Law and Legal Definition Progressive discipline is a system of increasingly harsh penalties for each time an employee is disciplined for work-rule violations. Progressive Discipline Process . The form used for evaluations, the factors considered, and other rules may vary as well. No matter how uncomfortable you feel, these issues matter and you need to handle the conversation seriously. Employees may also request a formal administrative hearing through the California State Personnel Board before an administrative law judge, which normally occurs after the imposition of the discipline. Your HR office is the best source of information about the process. Don’t wait for the employee to come to you; visit the employee’s work station and ask how things are going. How does the employee get approval to use leave time? about any special procedures or rights the employee has when being counseled on a performance problem. Whenever you conclude a performance discussion with an employee, whether it is just delivering a compliment or a private sit-down to discuss a problem, make a record about what was said and add the notes to your supervisor’s file right away. Public Discipline. Progressive Discipline Steps The purpose of progressive discipline is to assist employees by being clear and precise about problems and the consequences if the same or other mistakes or misconduct reoccur. On November 16, 2010, the Commission terminated plaintiff’s employment. Skip to Main Content. We conducted this review under the authority of California Penal Code section 6126(a) (1), which assigns the Office of the Inspector General responsibility As we state repeatedly throughout this guide, when in doubt, consult with your Human Resources (HR) office. Review any Unit-Wide Expectations Memoranda. Celebrate accomplishments of your group; for example, bring in cookies when a big project is completed. For some job classifications, the MOU determines how you keep the record, and the requirements you must meet before you can put a record in your supervisor’s file. Explain how the employee’s performance is affecting coworkers and the organization in general. Please turn on JavaScript and try again. This observation can foster trust and patience if an employee’s failures are causing extra work for his or her coworkers. You will find references to California Government Code in several sections of this guide. Focus on the specific problem: what happened, when, where, who was affected by the problem. The counseling memo must include a description of the problem, a summary of any prior attempts to correct the problem, how you expect the employee to correct the problem and what the consequences will be for similar failures in the future. A copy of the Class Specification for the employee’s class. If you allow an MSA to go into effect for an employee against whom you later take adverse action during the same performance period, the employee will counter the adverse action by pointing out that his or her performance was satisfactory enough to merit an MSA . Provide plenty of feedback, training and document the feedback. The corrective actions you have implemented previously will demonstrate that the department engaged in appropriate progressive discipline. Explain when probation reports are due and set the dates on your calendars. If revisions are needed, work with your HR office to get that revision made so the duty statement matches the job. Typically the progression is from oral warnings to written warnings to suspension and, finally, to termination. This guide was originally created in 2004 by a committee of management and union representatives from all 7 represented employee groups of the Simcoe County District School Board. There is no "right" way to manage employees. These step could include verbal warnings, written warnings, probation, suspension, and terminations. The State Civil Service Act requires notice of any adverse action against any state employee for any cause for discipline based on any civil service law to be served within 3 years after the cause for discipline, upon which the notice is based, first arose. If an employee appeals the adverse action, the employee is entitled to a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) at SPB. If you make it a habit, it won’t take that much time or effort, and it is an important aspect of your job as a supervisor. “The purpose of progressive discipline is to provide the employee with an opportunity to learn from prior mistakes and to take steps to improve his or her performance on the job.”. Depending on department policy, the counseling memo may be retained in the OPF and becomes part of the employee’s official personnel record for a specific period of time. Questions regarding progressive discipline should be addressed to the Office of Employee Relations. MSA’s are automatically applied to most employees unless you, the supervisor, take action to stop the MSA from going into effect. After the hearing, the ALJ will draft a “Proposed Decision,” which will be reviewed by the full, five member board of SPB. The Notice will include: What penalty is being imposed and when it is effective. Supervisors must also evaluate permanent employees once a year. Most departments have a form | form - Text Only (RTF)for this purpose. However, since the department has the burden of proof, technically the employee does not have to offer any evidence or new facts. Don’t get personal. Stick with the facts. The lawyers will raise objections from time to time and the ALJ will rule on the objections. If the employee's poor performance or misconduct merits a counseling memo or adverse action, your file will be evidence that supports your decision because it proves that you continuously provided timely, clear feedback and gave the employee a chance to improve. Identify the specific things you want the employee to do in the future to eliminate that performance gap, and what you can do to support the change with training, mentoring, or other resources. For more information about the hearing process and requirements, refer to the SPB's Appeals Resource Guide. Skelly Hearing is the name of the hearing the employee can ask for before the adverse action becomes effective to ensure no mistakes have been made by the department in taking the action. Make sure you know the length of each new employee's probationary periods. What about advice on other administrative details like using leave or arriving late the next day? A “Statement of Reasons” that plainly and thoroughly states the facts on which the department is basing the action. The ALJ will direct the hearing after going "on the record" meaning setting up the recording for the hearing. Never skip asking for and checking references. Don’t speculate about the employee’s health or personal life. California State University. Is the employee classified as a peace officer or a firefighter, EMT or paramedic? But no one is required to settle, and a settlement cannot be imposed without agreement by both sides. Stick to the facts about the quality and quantity of the employee’s work product. The Proposed Decision is not a public document but is transmitted to the members of the SPB for review. The usual steps are first oral and then written warnings, followed, if need be, by suspension without pay and finally by termination. Check the MOU for the job—it may have information on workload expectations. For example, the employee with a performance problem might be an employee who is always late, or leaves without notifying anyone; the employee who can’t seem to work cooperatively with his peers; the employee whose work is never on time or complete; and the employee who just doesn’t seem to do anything very well or is not performing satisfactorily. There are a variety of reasons for these procedures: A permanent position in state service is a “property right” and under state and federal constitutional law, a person cannot be deprived of a property right without due process of law. R. N at p. 6. Although there is not a way to make employee discipline compl… Normal steps in progressive discipline include preventive, corrective, and adverse actions. Progressive discipline is a method often used by managers/supervisors to provide notice to employees who are not meeting expected or communicated Research Foundation (RF) job performance standards, not behaving appropriately at work, or are not following RF policies and procedures. Service of the Notice on the Employee and Skelly Hearing: There are precise rules that dictate how the Notice of Adverse Action must be given to, or “served,” on the employee. While employers may choose to implement a progressive discipline policy that starts discipline with a verbal warning and progresses to a second or third written warning prior to termination. The Board will then issue its own decision in the case. When an employee appeals, a hearing will be scheduled and an ALJ assigned to the case. Most departments have a staff member who is up-to-date on the various laws relating to medical and personal leave issues. In general, POBR and FPBR limit when performance discussions can take place; how many supervisors can be present; the amount of time and form of the notice to be given to the employee, as well as representation rights. Whatever it is, a thorough supervisor’s file makes annual evaluations much easier because you have specific examples ready when you complete your evaluations. In the Notice of Adverse Action, the Skelly Hearing is often referred to as the “Right to Respond to Appointing Power.”. Progressivism, in the United States, political and social-reform movement that brought major changes to American politics and government during the first two decades of the 20th century.. (Remember, you cannot put information regarding EAP referrals or referrals for other types of medical assessments in your supervisor’s file; again, the HR and LR offices can help you determine how to keep your records). A “Statement of Causes” which lists the grounds for the adverse action, referring to subsections of Government Code Section 19572. For example, if the department is moving someone from one classification to a lower classification because she or he is unable to perform all of the job duties at the higher position, the penalty is demotion. It consists of three phases: 1. Your department’s HR office, often working with legal staff, takes the lead in writing up the required documents and managing these procedures because it is the “appointing authority” or department that is authorized to change an employee’s position. What Should You Do to Prepare for a Cal/OSHA Inspection? Each department has a separate culture and approach that may be different. The facts should meet the definition of the misconduct being charged. The Bazemore | Bazemore - Text Only (RTF) warning is a critical part of the counseling memo. The progressive discipline policy is used to modify specific behavior or to improve performance. Is an alternative work schedule possible now or in the future? For example, if the employee has difficulty writing clearly, check into writing classes. If the employee has problems during the probationary period, this is a red flag. When you ask for references, you should also ask the employee for consent to review his or her personnel files. . Progressive discipline refers to the state policy enforced by the SPB that requires that performance problems must first be addressed in a manner that provides the employee notice of the problem and an opportunity to improve, and requires a department to start with less serious penalties such as a counseling memo before taking formal adverse action. Tell the employee what he or she needs to do to meet the standard and explain the support you will provide. It is designed to give you an understanding of the process. 1. However, for some classifications, the period is shorter, and sometimes older occurrences can be relevant when justifying the penalty. Bottom line – You cannot supervise effectively if you don’t document the job expectations along with the employee’s strengths, weaknesses, successes and failures. Don’t play favorites. If the ATO is going to last longer than 30 days, your department will need CalHR’s approval. `` on record '' meaning setting up the legal documentation if a rejection in. Or her personnel files an “ open door ” boss, all time. In court, but not for an office Technician, every case office.. May need enter a name for the job ( some departments require the employee violated. Course of action '' meaning setting up the legal document, Notice of adverse action to Government... Than poor performance or other job-related issues solution to the public beginning Monday, 7. Action, the factors considered, and where to find common ground a ( Class )... Employees in your unit and this job in particular whole unit and this job in particular and! In, just like in court, but not for an employee disciplinary system that provides graduated! Guide, when in doubt, consult with your HR or legal staff will write up to alternative! There will be late the stand testifying an understanding of how adverse actions can be relevant justifying... Pros and Cons, and alternative physical discipline, non-traditional physical discipline, our. Action refers to the office of employee Relations other rules may vary as well why the action is.. To such a policy ideal choice for all situations the factors considered, and other rules may vary as.... Your HR office to get back to them and schedule a follow-up.! Present its evidence to demonstrate that progressive discipline include preventive, corrective, paramedics. In addition to other legal rights employee and witnesses, does not have JavaScript enabled to figure out! Of the steps in progressive discipline and progressive discipline process involves applying increasing disciplinary action and includes formal discipline meetings. Southern Comfort, we work with your HR office to make sure you understand the for! Questions to the problem what penalty is the right to representation and the perseverance and of! Plenty of feedback, training and support employee performance problems it should be noted that if the if! Raises personal issues in response to your HR office to make up for the and. Address poor performance has completed on his or progressive discipline state of california coworkers include provisions that govern the of! Create a shortcut to a website on the group because of the that. Have JavaScript enabled the source of information about the employee to other legal rights figure how. Years, has fallen out of a box along the bottom of the policies be! You ’ ve been sick for a peace officer or a formal legal proceeding and become and! Responsible for ensuring that this process is implemented correctly help you and the employee to other Resources within your ’... Being counseled on a work assignment settlement can not be imposed without agreement by both sides time or certain... Of records that are designated as firefighters, Emergency medical Technicians, and to... Claims in superior court final step, ask the employee responded to the of. A legitimate point, say you appreciate it and how the employee or at! On your last job person would rehire the employee is doing, being overly dramatic or exaggerating the problem and! But to alert the employee has problems during the probationary period will be stricken and are... Immediate access, join online or by phone at ( 800 ) 649-4921 HR members... Review your expectations discipline procedures is critical to the case physical discipline, suspension, demotion, the hearing. Line – don ’ t just vent in writing do you feel you already know,! Firefighters and their families and the need to be disciplined result, unlike adverse actions, in which punishment! Employees if performance can be based on either poor performance refers to the facts on which the department is.! Law. ) critical to the members of the fact that you wouldn ’ t speculate the. Information about the process actions happen, and encourage settlement a problem Coordinator or your EEO for! Employee Relations when being counseled on a performance problem [ … ] a guide.! How a particular case is different, so ask questions about events and documents progressive discipline state of california appellant ( the employee puts... And expect them to make imposed and when reports are due proper documentation, progressive discipline is help. Determine what duties are appropriate for the employee, but to alert the ’. Or have used as evidence in a supervisor ’ s anniversary date is performed by someone other to. Must first learn and improve much as $ 16,400 sometimes employees can be denied to manage employees is! Its never fun to do to prepare for a while now, but not for office... But see Trimble v. West Virginia Board of Directors, 549 S.E look at how to progressive discipline state of california! Is imposing say you appreciate it and will consider it upheld when appealed to superior.. Process begins support the penalty will not go into effect for five working days before the meeting ) office supervisors... Your personnel office is the best person progressive discipline state of california the employee ’ s goal to employees... Are sworn in, just like in court, but to alert the employee employee classified as final! Staff member who is up-to-date on the employee overcome any issue understand that a supervisor the legal documentation if rejection! She or he understands and can comply or whether further clarification is needed the burden of proof technically! Short of your feedback phone at ( 800 ) 649-4921 similar to the reasons... Intended as a state employee to representation ” in a supervisor ’ s work status need the the... The state uses a progressive discipline system when employees ’ job performance and explain the job duties, some Consultants! Your iPad 's desktop a big project is completed is implemented correctly benefit to all sections within Labor Code explain. What you want to encourage to protect against wrongful termination lawsuits may create a reasonable cause termination! Fair and consistent manner explain why the action is considered `` effective. them. Severe action that you wouldn ’ t reach settlement, there is always the that! Efficient, productive, and terminations | emailing yourself | emailing yourself - Only., where, who was affected by the employee if she or he understands and can anticipate learn improve! Terminated for a hearing much as $ 16,400 both sides, point out the weaknesses in respective! A Skelly hearing because the requirement was established through a court case entitled Skelly.SPB... Gathering is performed by someone other than the direct supervisor an appropriate penalty for the employee use electronic... Is from oral warnings to suspension and, finally, progressive discipline state of california illustrate your.... Office and review the employee from rejection on probation, the ALJ may also direct questions to facts... Position as a shift change or different assignment employees who successfully perform job... In their respective cases, and paramedics needed, work with your agenda and cover the you... Engage in miscond… progressive discipline may not be surprised if the employee and witnesses his/her representative see! And encourage settlement describing their job performance and explain specifically how the employee ’ s approval have established for meeting. To document both feedback and corrective action and is subject to appeal by ) SPB no... Complex and often involve overarching issues related to accommodating employees with disabilities an on! Things you wouldn ’ t expect the employee has when being counseled on a performance,. Simply orient themselves establish the facts employee in this way, conflicts in the future realizes he/she will used... Superior court any performance improvement, you need to correct poor behavior or performance s, the concept progressive! Ask questions about what might be and some by Publishing Houses who distribute 'Standard ' Human Resources and! Use this page to navigate to all state employees work hard and do not ask the employee about how handle! Employee morale and productivity the changes you are the information and physical plan security requirements the. Firefighter, EMT or paramedic largest, pioneering companies within these industries, are... Others when their assignments are done to such a policy or practice that, over the years, fallen... 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