Disciplinary Process

Investigative Process

Virtually all allegations 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 elr@nmsu.edu. fullres_Organ_Snow_1997-300x196.jpg

General Investigative Guidelines:

  1. Contact Employee & Labor Relations for guidance.
  2. Review all facts relevant to the incident or undesirable conduct.
  3. Collect all relevant written documents (policies, memos, prior disciplinary action, etc.).
  4. Collect all tangible evidence that might indicate whether a policy violation did or did not occur. (videos, pictures, etc.)
  5. Conduct interviews with all individuals who may have relevant information.
    1. Draft essential questions.
    2. Take Notes of the interviews
  6. Evaluate the evidence objectively and prepare an investigative summary outlining all information gathered and what has been concluded.
  7. 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 elr@nmsu.edu.

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. arts_interior-200x300.jpg

Progressive Discipline Steps:

  1. Counseling (informal)
  2. Verbal Reprimand
  3. Written Reprimand
  4. Suspension/Demotion
  5. 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.

Policy References: