Appendix A: Types of corrective action
- Verbal communication
- Written communication
- Suspension without pay
Appendix B: Problem review and grievance procedure
- Problem review procedure
- Formal grievance procedure
- Steps of the grievance procedure
- Access to information
- Conduct of hearing
Appendix C: Benefits eligibility
- Time away from work
If the performance or conduct of a staff member is unsatisfactory, the following actions may be initiated to try to improve the performance or conduct to meet expectations. In most cases these actions are initiated only after informally working with the staff member to try to resolve performance or conduct concerns. The intent of any action, with the exception of discharge, is to restore the performance or conduct of the staff member and build the strength of the Calvin community.
The action taken is dependent upon the nature of the problem, the willingness and ability of the staff member to benefit from corrective action, and what, if any, other forms of corrective action have occurred in the past. The action(s) taken will not always include all of the below, nor will the various actions necessarily be applied in any specific sequence. These procedures are guidelines and do not affect employment status as generally defined in the handbook.
The supervisor of a staff member may notify a staff member verbally regarding conduct or performance that needs to change. Following a formal verbal notification, a written description of the situation and the action taken (designated as a “verbal communication”) will be placed in the personnel file of the staff member. The staff member will be asked to sign this written description as an indication that a copy has been delivered to him or her, and will be given the opportunity to provide a written response.
If a written communication (see final findings and conclusion form) is issued, a complete record of the offense(s) and the action(s) taken shall be shown and explained to the staff member. A copy shall be placed in his or her personnel file. As with a verbal communication, a signature will be obtained from the staff member, and he or she will be given the opportunity to provide a written response. If a staff member believes that he or she is not being treated fairly, he or she is encouraged to seek consultation with a representative from the Human Resources Office, at which point he or she may file an appeal using the problem review and grievance procedure.
Suspension without pay
The staff member may be suspended without pay for an appropriate amount of time. This action may be taken for a serious violation, for repeated lesser violations of the code of conduct, or for failure to meet job responsibilities. If a staff member believes that he or she is not being treated fairly, he or she is encouraged to seek consultation with a representative from the human resources office, at which point he or she may file an appeal using the problem review and grievance procedure.
In certain cases appropriate corrective action may result in demotion to a position of lesser responsibility and compensation. This action is most likely to be used in cases relating to performance and failure to meet job responsibilities. If a staff member believes that he or she is not being treated fairly, he or she is encouraged to seek consultation with a representative from the human resources office, at which point he or she may file an appeal using the problem review and grievance procedure.
The employment of a staff member may be terminated. This action is taken for a serious violation, for repeated lesser violations of the code of conduct, or for failure to meet job responsibilities. Any staff member who is discharged may appeal that decision according to the policies outlined in the formal grievance procedure.
Appendix B: Problem review and grievance procedure
This process is designed to provide an orderly and discreet review for the resolution of work-related conflicts, including appeals for corrective actions and involuntary termination. Consistent with the handling of all performance and disciplinary matters, the college seeks to handle the process with discretion and sensitivity.
A staff member who feels wronged should present his or her concern and request for action directly to the immediate supervisor to discuss the conflict or corrective action. If a staff member has a problem of such a sensitive nature that it cannot be discussed with his or her immediate supervisor, he or she should request a meeting with a representative from the Human Resources Office.
At any time, a representative from the Human Resources Office is available to assist a staff member who believes that he or she has been treated unfairly. This representative can help a staff member think through an issue, assist in documenting any complaint, or serve as an advisor. This representative does not, however, represent the staff member nor advocate his or her position at any time during the resolution process.
No retribution or other adverse action will be taken against any staff member for filing a complaint, and work accommodations will be made, if warranted, based on the nature of the complaint.
Problem review procedure
At the time a staff member has an unresolved issue, the staff member may contact the Human Resources Office to request that the Problem Review Procedure be utilized. The staff member should send a brief written description of the problem and the desired outcome to the Human Resources Office. With the staff member’s approval, a representative from the Human Resources Office will arrange a private meeting with the staff member, his or her supervisor, and any other relevant participant of the problem.
The staff member will have the opportunity to present his or her complaint and an attempt will be made to resolve the problem. If the problem cannot be resolved, the staff member will be advised of the Formal Grievance Procedure.
Formal Grievance Procedure
Grievances must be filed with the Human Resources Office within thirty days of the corrective action, involuntary termination, or policy violation. The staff member must present the appeal using the appropriate form, which will be provided by the Human Resources Office. The forms must be filled out completely, subject to the circumstances of each case.
Corrective Action or Employment Termination for Job Performance and/or Misconduct-Related Reasons
A staff member may appeal his or her corrective action or termination for job performance and/or misconduct reasons. In such a case, the grounds for appeal are limited to the following:
- That the staff member is not responsible for any, or a significant part, of the unsatisfactory job performance or misconduct given as reasons for corrective action or termination;
- That although the staff member is responsible for the conduct or lack thereof that was the ground for corrective action or termination, the penalty is disproportionate to the misconduct or poor performance;
- The process was not fair and impartial;
- That the corrective action or termination violates an established policy of the college.
Employment Termination Due to Reduction, Reorganization, or Elimination of Position
A staff member may experience termination of employment when a department of the college is reduced in size, is eliminated, is merged, or is reorganized. This may occur for a variety of reasons, such as a redefinition of a mission, economic or budgetary considerations, or other factors. The grounds for appeal for such a termination are limited to the following:
- That the reason given for the termination (reorganization) is a pretext for removing the staff member;
- The decision was not made using a fair and impartial process; or
- That the selection of the staff member or the staff member’s position for termination violates an established policy of the college.
Upon request by the staff member to the Human Resources Office, assistance in preparing a grievance will be provided by a representative from the Human Resources Office who will be appointed by the director of human resources. Such a representative will assist and coach, but will not advocate for, the staff member.
Steps of the Grievance Procedure
After receiving the Grievance Form, the director of human resources will initiate a thorough investigation, including interviews with all parties affected to discuss the grievance and identify possible resolutions. The director will complete the investigation and respond in writing, or in a format accessible to the complainant, within thirty calendar days of receiving the complaint.
The director’s response is final in all matters other than suspension without pay, demotion, involuntary termination, and claimed violations of the Policy on Discrimination and Harassment or Equal Employment Opportunity policies.
If the problem is still not resolved to the staff member’s satisfaction, he or she may file an appeal of the decision with the Office of the President within ten calendar days of the Step 1 response. Ordinarily, the staff member and the director of human resources are expected to cover in written form all issues and facts involved in the appeal.
The president or designee may meet with the staff member, director of human resources, and other persons as deemed appropriate. The president or designee will ensure that the staff member has the opportunity to respond to all material evidence before a decision is made.
The president or designee will issue a written decision within ten calendar days after the conclusion of his or her investigation. The decision is final in all matters other than those involving involuntary termination.
If, in cases of involuntary termination, the staff member is not satisfied with the result of Step 2, the staff member may appeal to the executive committee of the Board of Trustees, in writing, within ten calendar days after receipt of the Step 2 response. The executive committee may delegate its role to an ad hoc sub-committee and will schedule a hearing promptly. The hearing will be conducted according to the procedure set forth below.
Access to information
A staff member will be given access, at reasonable times and places, to such non-confidential information as he or she may reasonably request to adequately pursue an appeal and prepare for meetings and hearings in Steps 2 and 3.
At any of the meetings and hearings provided for in the formal grievance procedure, the staff member may be accompanied by another person (not an attorney) to provide support and assistance. The staff member will speak for himself or herself, and the accompanying person will not speak or otherwise function as an attorney or advocate.
Conduct of Hearing
The Step 3 hearing will be conducted according to the following guidelines:
- The hearing body (executive committee or designated sub-committee) will appoint a hearing officer, who may be a member of the hearing body or may be an outsider.
- The college will proceed first with its proofs (documents, testimony, and other evidence). The staff member may cross-examine any witnesses and respond to such other evidence.
- At the conclusion of the college’s presentation, the terminated staff member may present proofs (documents, testimony, and other evidence), and the college’s representatives may cross-examine and respond.
- Further rebuttal by the college and/or the terminated staff member will be at the discretion of the hearing body.
- At the conclusion of the proofs, the hearing body will give each party an opportunity to make closing arguments, orally and/or in writing. If the hearing body requires additional evidence before rendering its decision, it will so advise the parties before the conclusion of the hearing and will give the parties a reasonable opportunity, generally not to exceed five to ten days, to comment or rebut.
- The hearing body will issue its decision in writing within thirty calendar days after closing arguments have been made. The written decision will indicate whether the termination is upheld and whether any remedy is awarded to the staff member. If the staff member is awarded any remedy, such remedy may include reinstatement to the staff member's previous position or to other employment by the college, either with or without lost compensation and/or benefits, or severance benefits without re-employment by the college.
A copy of the appeal and the final determination will be kept in the Human Resources Office and the appeal and final determination will remain confidential.
This procedure is intended to provide the sole and exclusive means to the staff member to enforce all of the policies and procedures of Calvin College that relate in any way to corrective action or termination of employment.
Appendix C: Benefits eligibility
*Immediate eligibility based on the position classification.