Employee / Labor Relations
Occasionally, it becomes necessary to discipline employees in order to correct unacceptable behavior. The time to act is as soon as a problem develops. Discipline is a form of training to help an employee change his/her behavior. The main objective of discipline is to get the employee on track in meeting behavioral expectations and/or behaving safely and sensibly on the job.
Discipline is carried out for "just cause," which is established based on a "preponderance of the evidence" (i.e., the greater weight of the evidence). The university's discipline program for Staff Employees follows the concepts of progressive and cumulative disciplinary actions. Therefore, when infractions occur, appropriate discipline can be administered progressively from minor to major penalties (e.g., reprimands to suspension to dismissal). Violations need not be identical in nature to be cumulative, and, depending on the violation and its severity, it is not required that each step in the discipline process be taken. For Administration employees who are "at will" there is no requirement that discipline be in the form of these same progressive steps.
USF Progressive Steps for Disciplinary Action lists types of behavioral infractions and recommendations for appropriate disciplinary action. ER Consultants can provide advice and guidance on discipline for Staff and Administration employees. For Administration employees covered by the United Faculty of Florida (UFF) Collective Bargaining Agreement, discipline must be administered in compliance with applicable provisions. Contact the Provost's Office or USF Health Faculty and Academic Affairs, as applicable, for advice and guidance on the discipline of Faculty.