Disciplinary Procedure

It is the policy of Dwell that all employees are expected to comply with the fellowship's standards of behavior and performance and that any noncompliance with these standards must be remedied. Employees exhibiting noncompliance may be subject to progressive discipline up to and including termination of employment.

Dwell reserves the right to terminate an employee at any time for any reason with or without prior disciplinary counseling or notice. Nothing in this handbook or any other Dwell document is intended to modify this "at-will" employment policy, promise progressive discipline or disciplinary counseling, promise notice in circumstances where Dwell considers immediate termination or discipline to be appropriate.

This procedure leaves substantial leeway for management to provide a disciplinary plan that matches the individual needs that arise in supervising discipline issues. These guidelines provide the basis for discipline actions, with details worked out in the context of each individual case.

Discipline Progression

The following steps are generally taken to communicate and resolve employee performance and behavior problems:

Verbal Warning

  • If an employee is not meeting fellowship standards of behavior or performance, the employee's supervisor should take the following action:
    • Meet with the employee to discuss the matter;
    • Inform the employee of the nature of the problem, the action necessary to correct it, target dates for review of resolution and potential results if the problem is not resolved by the established target date or if the problem worsens; and,
    • Prepare a memorandum summarizing the discussion with the employee. Both the supervisor and employee should sign the memorandum, attesting its veracity. The memorandum should be maintained by the supervisor, via the Human Resource employee files. If the parties to the memorandum cannot reach consensus on the summary of the situation, the supervisor and employee can document their views, and present to the Human Resources Department for review and comment by the Dwell Management Team.
  • If the problem is not favorably resolved, documentation regarding this discussion will be made part of the human resource file.

Written Warning

  • If there is a second incident of noncompliance or an unrelated problem involving job performance or behavior, termination may result. However, if the supervisor believes further disciplinary is appropriate to resolve the problem(s), the following actions should be taken:
    • Prepare a memorandum of written warning to the employee including specific deficiencies, actions needed to correct the problem, the period of time given for review of problem resolution, and consequences if stated expectations are not met.
    • Prior to delivery of the written warning, submit the memorandum to the human resources director and the next level of management for review and signature;
    • Issue the written warning to the employee for review and signature. Employee signature indicates that the warning has been issued and read, and does not necessarily indicate full agreement with what the warning contains.
  • A copy of the written notice will be placed in the employee's human resource file. If there are recurrences or other problems thereafter, termination may occur.
  • This written step may take place at the same time as the above verbal warning, depending on the severity of the performance issue.

Final Warning, Probation or Discharge

  • If an employee fails to correct a problem after a written warning, the employee may either be terminated or given a final probationary warning, depending on the supervisor's determination of the appropriate action under the circumstances. The employee may be placed on probation for up to, but not to exceed, three (3) months . The supervisor will determine the length of the probationary period in consultation with the Human Resource Department and appropriate department director or division coordinator. The employee will be notified in writing of the specific performance or behavior deficiencies, the length of the probation period, specific performance or behavior goals, and consequences if stated goals are not met. During the probation period:
    • Additional related or unrelated occurrences of noncompliance may result in immediate termination;
    • The employee is not eligible for performance assessments or pay increases;
    • The employee may not apply for internal transfers; and
    • The employee will remain eligible for paid holidays but may not use vacation hours. Any medical leave must be substantiated with a doctor's excuse.
  • At the end of the probationary period, the supervisor should prepare a written statement of satisfactory or unsatisfactory performance or behavior and resulting actions. This statement should be signed by both parties and submitted to human resources for inclusion in the employee's human resource file.
  • To recognize positive responses to disciplinary actions, a period of one year during which an employee experiences no disciplinary problems will result in previous disciplinary documentation not being forwarded to hiring managers during transfer (within the fellowship) considerations.
  • All of the above steps may not be followed in some instances. Dwell reserves the right to exercise discretion in discipline based on the nature of the problem, the potential for appropriate resolution and any other pertinent considerations. Prior probation or termination warning is not a requirement for termination.
  • Employees who believe that they have been disciplined too severely or without good cause are encouraged to bring this to the attention of the Human Resources Department. The Dwell Management Team may be used to consult and rule on a given employee concern.