Disciplinary Action, Suspension and Dismissal Policy

Policy Number
Board of Trustees
Date Approved
Effective Date
Responsible Division
Human Resources

The College recognizes that occasions may arise in the course of employment when  employee behavior or conduct does not meet expectations, violates College policy, or violates  the North Carolina State Government Ethics Act ( NC Gen Stat 138A). Employee corrective  or disciplinary action for unsatisfactory job performance, misconduct, or non-compliance with  College policies, procedures, or other established standards shall generally be conducted on  a progressive basis through the immediate supervisor in consultation with the next level  supervisor and Human Resources. Disciplinary action beyond coaching or written warnings  require the approval of the College President.  

The College President or designee shall establish procedures consistent with this policy and  applicable laws or regulations


Causes for disciplinary action, suspension and/or dismissal shall include, but not limited to: 

  1.  Inefficiency or incompetence in the performance of duties. 
  2.  Negligence in the performance of duties. 
  3. Careless, negligent, or improper use of College property or equipment. 
  4. Failure to maintain satisfactory and harmonious working relationships with the public and/or  employees. 
  5.  Habitual improper use of sick leave privileges. 
  6.  Habitual pattern of failure to report for duty at the assigned time and place. 
  7. Failure to obtain or maintain a current license or certificate required by law as a condition for  performing the job. 
  8. Refusal to accept a reasonable and proper assignment from an authorized supervisor  (insubordination). 
  9.  Guilty of gross, infamous, notoriously disgraceful conduct, or other conduct prejudicial to the  College. 
  10. Conviction of a felony, a crime involving moral turpitude, or a misdemeanor which carries a  penalty of 60 days or more confinement (an employee shall be suspended if charged with a felony or  a crime involving moral turpitude). If an employee is charged with a felony or misdemeanor other  than a traffic infraction, he or she shall notify the College President within 48 hours of the time he/she  is charged with the offense. Failure to do so may result in the employee’s immediate dismissal. 
  11. Misuse of College funds. 
  12. Falsified job information to secure position with the College. 
  13. Participation in any action that would in any way seriously disrupt or disturb the normal operation  of the institution. 
  14.  Trespassing on the home of any trustee or employee for the purpose of harassing or forcing  dialogue or discussion from the occupants. 
  15. Willful damage or destruction of property. 
  16. Willful acts that would endanger the lives and property of others
  17. Possession of unauthorized firearms or lethal weapons on the job. 
  18. Brutality in the performance of duties.
  19.  Reporting to work under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or partaking of such substances on the  job. 
  20. Acceptance of gifts in exchange for “favors” or “influences.” 
  21. Disclosure of confidential information from official records. 
  22. Sexual harassment. 
  23. Making false, misleading or ambiguous statements, deliberately or willfully, whether verbal or  written, in connection with any official College business or records. 
  24. Advocating the overthrow of the Government of the United States or the State of North Carolina  by force, violence, or other unlawful means. 
  25. Failure to comply with such reasonable requirements as the Board may prescribe.

Administration reserves the right to enter disciplinary action at any stage from First Notice to suspension,  demotion or dismissal after careful consideration of all related circumstances. Factors to be considered  relate to all available facts specific to the current situation, the employee’s role at the College, as well as  the impacts on the College’s ability to safely and faithfully carry out its mission. 

Good management practices dictate that an employee with unsatisfactory performance should  receive reasonable, on-going feedback on ways to improve performance, and that warnings,  whether oral or written, occur within a reasonable time frame. 

Except for emergency situations, employees who are dismissed for unsatisfactory performance  of duties and personal conduct, should receive at least two warnings. First, an oral warning. Second, a formal written warning which will serve notice upon the employee that a  continuation of the deficiencies in performance may result in disciplinary action and loss of pay  or dismissal.  

First Notice/Warning: 

  1.  Review with the employee exactly what is expected of him/her and why. 
  2. Explain to the employee how he/she has not met the requirements and why his/her  performance has been unacceptable. 
  3.  Allow the employee to give the reasons for his/her actions or failures. 
  4. Make suggestions for corrections (remind the employee that the services of the  Employee Assistance Program (EAP) are available, if appropriate). 
  5. Establish a reasonable period of time for the employee to correct the problem. 
  6. Prepare and keep a memorandum of record. 

Second Warning: Before issuing the second warning, the superior/supervisor must review the  contents of the letter with the Director of Human Resources and then have the permission of the  President. All formal written warnings will include a notice to the employee that a continuation of  the practice may result in dismissal. They should also include: 

  1. How and why the employee’s actions and/or performance has been unacceptable. 
  2. Make suggestions for corrections (remind the employee that the services of the  Employee Assistance Program (EAP) are available). 
  3. Establish a reasonable period of time for the employee to correct the problem. 
  4. A statement that the employee may respond in writing to the supervisor with a copy sent  to his or her personnel file, including any comments or rebuttals to the written warning. 
  5. Allow the employee to sign indicating receipt of a written warning. The employee’s  signature does not indicate agreement with the reason for the warning. 

Procedures for Suspension 

  1. Suspension is for use at the President’s discretion to discipline. Such disciplinary  suspension may not exceed 30 working days with or without pay. It may also be used in the  President’s discretion to provide time to investigate, establish facts, and reach a decision  concerning an employee’s actions in those cases where it is determined the employee should  not continue to work pending a decision. 
  2. When immediate suspension is made, the supervisor accompanied by Campus Security  will inform the employee to leave the College property at once after retrieving his/her personal property.  
  3. When immediate suspension is made, all facts leading to the suspension must be clearly  understood by the President or his designee. A written statement must be prepared giving  the circumstances and facts which led to the decision for suspension and a copy furnished to the employee within a reasonable time. 
  4. Failure of the employee to report back to work when requested, or at the suspension  expiration date, will be considered a termination of his/her employment, and any subsequent  reinstatement or re-employment shall be on the basis of new employment. 
  5. Any suspension must be fully documented, stating: 
  6.  Beginning date. 
  7.  Reasons for action. 
  8.  Brief description of plans and procedures for solving problem. 
  9. Signature of appropriate levels of authority. 

At the conclusion of the suspension, dates and details of the action taken shall be placed in the  appropriate personnel file. 

If the employee is suspended and later reinstated, he/she is to be reinstated to his/her same  classification and rate of pay. The President may recommend that the suspension be without  pay for the time period from date of suspension to the date of reinstatement, or any portion  thereof. Such a determination will be based upon consideration of the degree to which the  employee was responsible or contributed to the reasons for the suspension. 

Procedures for Dismissal 

Before an employee is dismissed because of unsatisfactory performance of duties, the following  should occur: 

  1. A written summary of the case, including steps taken to improve performance and/or to  inform the employee that performance is unsatisfactory, will be prepared by the supervisor  and reviewed with the President. 
  2. The Chairman of the Board of Trustees will be notified of each proposed dismissal.
  3. If an employee is dismissed, the employee will receive written notice, and a copy of the  notice will be placed in the employee’s personnel file located in the Human Resources  Office. 

Administration reserves the right to enter disciplinary action at any stage from Frist Notice to  suspension, demotion or dismissal after careful consideration of all related  circumstances. Factors to be considered relate to all available facts specific to the current  situation, the employees’ role at the College, as well as the impacts on the College’s ability to  safely and faithfully carry out its mission. 

Employee Ethics 

College employees must act at all times in a manner which is consistent with the highest standards of ethics  and professionalism. Such standards include concern for the needs of students, respect for the dignity of  fellow employees, commitment to the service of our community, and adherence to the NC State  Government Ethics Act (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 138A).

The purpose of the Act is to raise ethical awareness, clarify ethical guidelines, ensure that systems/programs/policies are in place, and to heighten accountability within the employing entity when making decisions to promote the public good. As public servants, employees are prohibited from use of a public position in a manner that will result in financial benefit to the employee, a member of the employee’s family, or a business with which the employee is associated.

College employees are subject to the North Carolina State Ethics Act (the “Act”). As public servants, employees are prohibited from accepting gifts from persons doing or seeking to do business with their employing entity, persons engaging in activities that are regulated or controlled by the employing entity, or persons having a financial interest that may be substantially affected by the public servant’s official actions. Furthermore, the North Carolina State Ethics Act
includes the following provisions:

  1. No employee shall accept or solicit any gift, favor, service, or other benefit that could reasonably be construed to influence the employee's discharge of assigned duties and responsibilities or that could reasonably be construed as being offered with the intent to influence the employee's official conduct; or that has a value in excess of $50.
  2. No employee charged with preparing plans, specifications or estimates for contracts, awarding or administering contracts, or inspecting or supervising construction shall solicit or accept any gift, favor, service or benefit, regardless of its value, from any contractor, subcontractor, or supplier who has a contract with the College, who has performed under a contract with the College during the past year, or who anticipates bidding on such a contract in the future. The preceding sentence is not intended to prevent the acceptance of
    honorariums for participating in meetings, advertising items or souvenirs of nominal value, or meals furnished at banquets.
  3. Sections 1 and 2 above shall not prohibit the acceptance of customary gifts or favors from friends and relatives where it is clear that it is the relationship rather than the business of the donor or the position of the employee which is the motivating factor for the gift or favor. However, all gifts are required to be reported to the President or designee by the employee if such gifts are made by a contractor, subcontractor, or supplier doing business directly or indirectly with the College.
  4. No employee shall accept employment or compensation or engage in any business or professional activity that could or does impair the employee's independence of judgment in the performance of assigned duties and responsibilities or that could require the disclosure of confidential information acquired by reason of the employee's College position. 
  5.  No employee shall make an investment or maintain a financial, business, or professional interest that creates a conflict with the proper discharge of assigned duties and responsibilities or otherwise creates a conflict with the best interest of the College. The preceding sentence shall not prohibit the ownership by an employee of five percent or less of the securities of any publicly traded company.
  6. An employee who believes that they may have a conflict of interest shall disclose the interest to the employee’s Vice President or to the President.