Virtually all cases of misconduct require an investigation to determine what actually occurred and why it happened. The purpose of an investigation is to uncover facts, not to construct a disciplinary case. For assistance with the investigative process, please contact Employee & Labor Relations at (575) 646-2449 or email@example.com.
General Investigative Guidelines:
- Contact Employee & Labor Relations for guidance.
- Review all facts relevant to the incident or undesirable conduct.
- Collect all relevant written documents (policies, memos, prior disciplinary action, etc.).
- Collect all tangible evidence that might indicate whether a policy violation did or did not occur.
- Conduct interviews with all individuals who may have relevant information.
- Draft essential questions.
- Take Notes of the interviews
- Evaluate the evidence objectively and prepare an investigative summary outlining all information gathered and what has been concluded.
- Consult Employee & Labor Relations to determine what (if any) discipline is warranted.
Progressive Disciplinary Process
For a consultation, please contact Employee & Labor Relations at (575) 646-2449 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Definition of Progressive Discipline: The process of using increasingly severe steps or measures when an employee fails to correct a problem after being given a reasonable opportunity to do so. The underlying principle of sound progressive discipline is to use the least severe action that you believe is necessary to correct the undesirable situation/behavior. Increase the severity of the action only if the condition is not corrected.
Progressive Discipline Steps:
- Counseling (informal)
- Verbal Reprimand
- Written Reprimand
- Termination for Cause
Essential Elements of Progressive Discipline:
- The employee is explicitly informed of the unacceptable behavior or performance and is given specific work-related examples. It is not sufficient to assume that the employee knows what the problem is.
- Explain acceptable behavior or performance standards and give the employee reasonable time to comply. This may be a longer time frame if a skill needs to be learned or a shorter time frame if it is a behavior to be changed.
- The employee is informed of the consequences of failing to comply. This is not a threat, rather it gives the employee reasonable expectations of the consequences if change does not occur.
Note: When any of the essential elements of progressive discipline are missing, actions are often overturned completely or reduced to a lesser level by the HR Services Administration.
- NMSU Policy 8.30 Disciplinary Action/Involuntary Termination
- Collective Bargaining Agreement Article 23 Disciplinary Actions