Date: December 21, 1988
Approving body: Administration Committee
Date: June 21, 2023
Approving Body: Administration Committee
Originating/Responsible Department: Human Resources
1.1 The purpose of this Policy it to provide a framework to,
a) deal fairly with an employee alleged to have engaged in misconduct and ensure that discipline, if warranted, is proportionate to the seriousness of the misconduct;
b) ensure disciplinary measures are consistent with the University’s obligations under workplace laws;
c) reserve the University's right to terminate employment with cause where the employee’s misconduct is severe and incompatible with continued employment at the University.
2.1 The following words and expressions have the corresponding meaning for the purposes of applying this Policy and any procedure established pursuant to it:
a) Human Resources Personnel refers to the University’s Human Resources staff that advise, support and guide Supervisors on disciplinary matters and can include, for example, HR Business Partners, HR Managers, HR Generalists or HR staff in the Human Resources’ Labour and Employee Relations department.
b) Misconduct refers to employee action or inaction which is a form of wrongdoing, disobedience or willful neglect of duty, ranging in level of seriousness and severity, justifying a disciplinary response.
c) Supervisor refers to the University staff member who has charge or managerial decision-making authority over the employment of the employee, regardless of their University job title. For example: University managers, professors, deans, directors or other heads of units or those in a position of managerial decision-making authority over the employee.
3.1 This Policy applies to disciplinary matters of University employees holding a non-unionized administrative and support staff position.
4.1 The University is committed to addressing disciplinary matters with respect for the privacy of individuals involved. All must treat as confidential any information communicated to them in connection with an investigation or disciplinary matter.
5.1 In the absence of a University policy and/or procedure applicable to addressing the alleged Misconduct at issue, when an allegation of Misconduct is made to the Supervisor or a potential incident of Misconduct is identified, the Supervisor must look into it and/or conduct an internal investigation to determine whether the allegation is founded. If warranted in the circumstances, Human Resources Personnel will appoint a separate internal or external investigator to carry out the investigation. The depth of investigation required will depend on the nature of an incident or the allegations and can vary from case to case.
5.2 In some circumstances, the University may need to suspend an employee from work during an investigation into an incident or allegations of Misconduct. Any such suspension will be for no longer than is necessary to complete the investigation, is not a disciplinary measure, and does not imply that any decision has been made about the incident or allegation of Misconduct.
5.3 While suspended pending the outcome of the investigation, the employee,
a) should not visit University premises or contact other University staff, students, suppliers, contractors or anyone involved in the investigation, unless authorized to do so by the Supervisor or Human Resources Personnel;
b) will continue to receive their full compensation and University employee benefits during the period of suspension and will remain bound by their terms and conditions of employment;
c) is required to co-operate with investigative procedures such as interviews or document disclosure.
5.4 The Employee must be given an opportunity to know the allegations of Misconduct made against them, to be heard and to respond to the allegations.
6. PROGRESSIVE DISCIPLINE
6.1 General Principles:
a) Progressive discipline is a process intended to raise the employee's awareness of a problem and the need to change based on an escalation of the consequences. In cases where the Supervisor deems discipline an appropriate response to Misconduct, a progressive discipline approach will normally be adopted.
b) Each stage of progressive discipline has the aim of impressing on the employee the seriousness of the Misconduct, communicating to the employee the expectations regarding future conduct, and offering the employee an opportunity to be heard and to improve. If Misconduct persists, more serious disciplinary measures will be applied as described in this Policy, up to and including termination of employment.
c) While progressive discipline normally escalates in response to continued Misconduct, the University reserves the right to repeat any progressive discipline step, or to commence disciplinary action at any step up to and including immediate termination, where justified by the circumstances.
6.2 Discipline issued under this Policy is recorded in the employee’s personnel file kept at Human Resources.
6.3 Prior and relevant discipline remains under consideration in the course of progressive discipline.
7. REVIEW AND IMPLEMENTATION
7.1 The Associate Vice-President of Human Resources is responsible for the periodic review of this Policy, as necessary and for its implementation.
7.2 The Vice-President, Finance and Administration may establish amend, abrogate procedures for purposes of the effective implementation of this Policy, provided that such procedures are consistent with the provisions of this Policy.
8.1 The Vice-President, Finance and Administration is responsible for recommending to the Administration Committee any amendments to this Policy for approval.
8.2 Notwithstanding Section 8.1 of this Policy, the Secretary-General may amend this Policy without the need to submit such amendment to the Administration Committee for approval if such amendment to this Policy is required to:
a) update or correct the name or title of a position, unit, law, regulation, policy, authority;
b) Correct punctuation, grammar, typographical errors, revisions to format and other technical revisions, where appropriate, if the correction does not change the meaning of a provision or make such other correction if it is patent both that an error has been made and what the correction should be;
c) correct the form of expression of a provision in French or in English to be more compatible with its form of expression in the other language;
d) make consequential amendments to conform with or arising from another University by-law, resolution, policy or to conform with applicable law.