4.16.4 Discipline and Dismissal of Classified Employees

A.  Purpose


The purpose of this policy is to provide a procedure for the discipline and dismissal of classified employees who are subject to its provisions. Classified employees are at-will employees who serve without tenure. No provision of the policy and procedures that follows shall confer rights to employees that are contrary to the employment-at-will doctrine.

B. Authority/Persons Affected

This policy is applicable to conduct or job performance of a classified employee of University of Texas at Tyler and the Health Science Center at UT Tyler (UTT) that results in a decision to impose a disciplinary action, including, but not limited to, demotion, suspension without pay, or dismissal. It does not apply to:

  1. Institutional police or faculty who are subject to other approved discipline or dismissal procedures;
  2. Suspension with pay pending investigation of allegations relating to an employee;
  3. Decisions not to offer reappointment to persons whose appointment for a stated period of one year or less expires at the end of such period without the necessity of notice of non-renewal as provided in the University of Texas System Board of Regents’ Rules and Regulations or the policies of UT Tyler;
  4. Administrative and professional employees who are appointed to positions without fixed term and serve at the pleasure of a specific administrative officer;
  5. Persons who are employed in positions that require student status as a condition of employment; or
  6. Dismissal of employees: 
    1. who occupy positions that are dependent upon funding from a specific source and such funding is not received,
    2. as a result of a reduction in force,
    3. due to financial exigency,
    4. during any probationary period of employment, 
    5. who are appointed for a stated period that is less than six months,
    6. who are appointed at a per diem or hourly rate and work on an as needed basis,
    7. who have not attained or maintained the necessary clearance, certification or licensure for their position, or
    8. who have exhausted applicable leave entitlements.

C. Definitions

At-will Employees: Employees who serve without tenure or expectation of continued employment, and whose employment may be terminated by UT Tyler for any lawful reason, or no reason at all, with or without advance notice.

D. Policy and Procedures

It is the policy of the UTT to encourage fair and efficient processes to address and resolve disputes out of the employment relationship and to meet the requirements of State and federal law.

Each employee is expected to be familiar with the performance criteria for his/her particular job and with all rules, procedures, and standards of conduct established by the Board of Regents, UTT and the employee's department or unit. An employee who does not fulfill the responsibilities set out by such performance criteria, rules, procedures, and standards of conduct may be subject to discipline. 

Conduct Subject to Disciplinary Action

  1. Deficient Work Performance.  Work performance is to be judged by the supervisor’s evaluation of the quality and quantity of work performed by each employee. Failure of an employee to maintain satisfactory work performance standards or to meet a reasonable and objective measure of efficiency and productivity may constitute grounds for disciplinary action including dismissal.
  2. Unacceptable Conduct, Including Violation of Institutional Policies.  All employees are expected to maintain standards of conduct suitable and acceptable to the work environment. Disciplinary action, including dismissal, may be imposed for unacceptable conduct.  Examples of unacceptable conduct include, but are not limited to:
    1. falsification of time sheets, personnel records, or other institutional records;
    2. neglect of official work duties; 
    3. smoking anywhere except in designated smoking areas; 
    4. gambling or participating in lotteries or any other games of chance on the premises at any time;
    5. soliciting or collecting money or circulating petitions on the premises other than within the rules and regulations of the institution;
    6. bringing intoxicants or drugs onto the premises of the institution, using intoxicants or drugs on the premises at any time, having intoxicants or drugs in one’s possession on the premises at any time, or being under the influence of intoxicants or drugs on the premises at any time;
    7. abuse or waste of tools, equipment, fixtures, property, supplies, or goods of UT Tyler;
    8. creating or contributing to unhealthy or unsanitary conditions; 
    9. violation of safety rules or accepted safety practices;
    10. failure to cooperate with supervisor or co-worker, impairment of function of work unit, or disruptive behavior conduct; 
    11. disorderly conduct, harassment of any nature towards other employees, or use of abusive language on the premises; 
    12. fighting, encouraging a fight, or threatening, attempting or causing injury to another person on the premises; 
    13. illegal or fraudulent activity, theft, dishonesty, or unauthorized use of institutional property, including but not limited to: financial misstatements or irregularities, conflicts of interest, unethical conduct, or misuse of records and confidential information; 
    14. creating a condition hazardous to another person on the premises; 
    15. destroying or defacing institutional property or records or the property of a student or employee; 
    16. refusal to follow instructions or to perform designated work that may be required of an employee, or refusal to adhere to established rules and regulations; or 
    17. repeated and excessive tardiness or absences, absence without proper notification to the supervisor, or absence without satisfactory reason or unavailability for work.

Discipline Procedures.  The following procedures will be followed when an employee who is subject to this policy is demoted for disciplinary reasons, suspended without pay, or dismissed.

  1. The supervisor will review the evidence and the proposed disciplinary action with the chief human resources officer or their designee.
  2. Once the supervisor has sought and obtained the concurrence of the chief human resources officer or their designee, they must then obtain the concurrence of the department leader or administrative equivalent to whom he or she reports before proceeding with the proposed disciplinary action.
  3. The supervisor shall inform the employee in writing of the reasons for the proposed disciplinary action and the facts upon which the supervisor relies.  The employee shall be provided with an opportunity to respond to the charges either verbally or in writing within a reasonable time not to exceed two (2) working days and to persuade the supervisor that the grounds for the disciplinary action are mistaken or incorrect before a final decision is made to take disciplinary action.  This pre-disciplinary notification serves as an opportunity to avoid mistaken decisions to impose discipline and is not intended to definitively resolve the propriety of the disciplinary action being considered.
  4. If the supervisor is not persuaded by the employee’s response that the decision to take disciplinary action is incorrect or mistaken, the supervisor will proceed to impose the disciplinary action.  The supervisor shall inform the employee in writing of the following:
    1. whether the disciplinary action is a demotion, suspension without pay or dismissal and its effective date; 
    2. a specific period for a suspension without pay, not to exceed one (1) month; 
    3. the specific incident, conduct, course of conduct, unsatisfactory work performance, or other basis for the disciplinary action; 
    4. any previous efforts to make the employee aware of the need to change or improve work performance or conduct; and 
    5. reference to any relevant rule, regulation, or policy. 
  5. Effect Upon Employee Benefits.  An employee who is demoted or suspended without pay continues to accrue vacation and sick leave, to be covered by group insurance, and to be entitled to other employee benefit programs. If a demotion or suspension without pay is appealed and the appeal of the demotion or suspension is successful, the employee will be entitled to payment for wages lost as a result of the demotion or suspension. If an appeal of dismissal is successful, the employee will be reinstated to the same or similar position and be entitled to payment of back wages less any unemployment compensation insurance benefits received by the employee after the date of dismissal. Employee benefits such as vacation and sick leave will be credited back to the date of dismissal.
  6. Procedure for Appeal.  Disciplinary actions resulting in dismissal, suspension without pay, or demotion may be appealed by the affected employee pursuant to the process set out in Appeal Process for Disciplinary Suspension and Dismissal Actions.  The written appeal must be made within ten (10) working days following the date of the disciplinary action.  The written appeal must be delivered to the supervisor who signed the disciplinary action.  Once the written appeal is submitted, no additional changes or additions may be made unless granted by the vice president or administrative equivalent.  The failure of the employee to submit the appeal in a timely manner shall constitute a withdrawal of the appeal.  
    1. A written appeal shall contain:
      1. A clear and concise statement of the reasons the employee believes the disciplinary action to be inappropriate;
      2. The reason(s) the employee believes the disciplinary action decision should be changed;
      3. The name(s) and contact information of any witness that may have information relevant to the employee’s disciplinary action;
      4. The specific remedy sought by the employee;
      5. Any additional relevant information to be considered in support of the employee’s written appeal; and
      6. The name and contact information of the employee’s representative, if any.
    2. Within five (5) working days following the receipt of the written appeal, the employee’s supervisor shall submit the employee’s written appeal, his or her written response and all documentation relevant to the disciplinary action to the vice president or administrative equivalent. A copy of the employee’s personnel file may also be submitted by the supervisor to the vice president or administrative equivalent, if requested.
    3. Within ten (10) working days following receipt of the information from the supervisor, the vice president or administrative equivalent will render a written decision. The written decision will be delivered electronically and mailed to the employee’s last known home address via Certified Mail that is maintained by the Office of Human Resources. The employee is responsible for keeping the human resources office notified of his or her current mailing address. The decision of the vice president or administrative equivalent is final.
    4. Copies of all documents pertaining to disciplinary actions including a signed decision

E. Responsibilities

See Policy and Procedures section.

F. Review

This policy shall be reviewed by Human Resources every five years or as legislation changes.


LAST AMENDED:  02/2019

AMENDED: 12/2021