A. General Statement – The Standard Schedule of Disciplinary Offenses and Penalties (Annex B) is provided as a guide in the administration of discipline. Since the schedule is of the utmost concern to all employees, conspicuous posting is required. The Standard Schedule provides a uniform code of penalties for a reasonably complete list of offenses. The range of penalties is provided to give flexibility in dealing with particular situations. In general, after consideration of all circumstances, the penalty assessed should be the minimum which may reasonably be expected to correct the employee and maintain discipline and morale among other employees.
B. Purposes – The Purposes of the Schedule are:
1. To provide a measure of uniformity in imposing penalties consistent with individual differences and the nature of the position held.
2. To develop generally on the part of employees a clearer understanding of what constitutes reasonable cause for disciplinary action.
3. To provide a standard and uniform basis for disciplinary offenses and penalties and to support management in its administration of disciplinary matters.
C. Application – In applying the Standard Schedule, the following instructions and guides are provided:
1. Use of the Standard Schedule in presenting charges – When presenting charges to the employee, a blanket statement from the Schedule should not be used. Use only the parts which describe the employee’s actual conduct and leave out parts which do not apply, for example, if an employee used abusive language only and not with Offense No 23 in its entirely. If the reason for contemplated disciplinary action cannot be described in terms of an offense from the Schedule, it should be possible to state the reason in terms of regulations or rules of general conduct which have been violated or damaged due to employee’s interference with management operations resulting from the employee’s action. The factor of willful negligence should be avoided, as willfulness is difficult to establish.
2. Generally, the question of willfulness may be discarded if the fact of negligence, failure or dereliction of the employee is established.
3. Combination of Offenses – The schedule provides for disciplinary action in the case of a combination of any of the offenses listed. However, the preferment of more than one charge for a single offenses (example: “Sleeping and loafing”), is prohibited. In such cases, the more appropriate offense should be used and the proper penalty assessed. Where the infraction covers a combination of two or more normally unrelated offenses (example: “Intoxication” and “insubordination”), charges covering each offense should be preferred and a heavier penalty than that prescribed for any one such offense may be assessed.
4. Reckoning Period – The Standard Schedule provides for a reckoning period of specific interval of time, after an offense occurs. A repetition of the offense within the period calls for a more severe penalty as determined by the circumstances. Reckoning periods are not cumulative. They commence with the occurrence of the offense and expire absolutely at the end of the period of specified for the offense. To identify the offense as the first, second, or third with a reckoning period, review the record and determine if the employee has committed a like offense during the period, occurring just prior to the current offense.
5. Letters of Reprimand – the Standard Schedule provides for a letter of reprimand as the minimum penalty for all offenses. A copy of each reprimand shall be placed in the official personnel folder of the employee concerned. Reprimands may be considered in determining disciplinary action taken at later dates. The letter of reprimand should not be confused with letters of caution or requirement which establish standards of conduct and performance, with written warnings as used with performance ratings or with other adverse correspondence such as used in cases involving abuse of sick leave.
6. Suspensions – The Standard Schedule provides for suspensions of vary lengths of time for all offenses. Suspension penalties are applicable to work days only.
D. Deferred Suspension.
1. Deferred suspensions help reduce lost time and may be suitable in some circumstances. If a suspension is deferred, it is held in abeyance during the reckoning period, contingent upon satisfactory conduct of the employee. When a suspension is deferred, the employee should be told in writing of the specific conditions under which it will be held in abeyance. (Note: A deferred suspension shall not be used as a PROPOSED disciplinary measure).
2. A deferred suspension may be invoked when a subsequent offense of any kind occurs during the reckoning period. The suspension may be summarily carried out if the employee committed a subsequent offense. If the individual does, and the proposed disciplinary action for the current offense. If a current offense is not established, a deferred suspension for a previous offense cannot be invoked. A deferred suspension shall be considered a letter of reprimand.
E. Demotions – The Standard Schedule provides that, where appropriate, consideration may be given to demotion as a disciplinary penalty in lieu of removal. Normally, demotion should be taken as a disciplinary measure only in cases involving supervisory personnel.
F. Considering the Past Record.
1. The Standard Schedule provides that penalties for disciplinary offenses will, in general, fall within the ranges indicated. However, unusual cases, depending upon the gravity of the offense and the past record of the employee, a penalty, either more or less severe than the maximum range provided for in the Schedule may be imposed. If an employee’s record of past disciplinary offences is considered in assessing the penalty for a current offense, the employee must be so advised of this fact in the advance notice proposing the adverse action or in the notice proposing the adverse action or in the notice of adverse action if no advance notice is required. Not more than two years of an employee’s past disciplinary record shall be considered in such connection.
2. Depending upon the severity of the offense, removal proceedings may be instituted against an employee for any four offenses committed in any 24 months period which include two or more offenses of the Standard Schedule or for the fourth occurrence of the same offense within the reckoning for that offense.History: Rule 01-2000, eff. Sept. 25, 2000.