Georgia Southwestern State University
Human Resources Policies and Procedures Manual
Table of Contents
The Human Resources Department of Georgia Southwestern State University functions to serve the best interests of employees and Georgia Southwestern. The Human Resources Department is responsible for the administration of all human resources policies of Georgia Southwestern and the Board of Regents. The Director of Human Resources and staff are responsible for recruitment, position classification, wage and salary administration, employee relations, training, faculty and employee records, staff benefits, Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Programs, and related human resources functions and programs of Georgia Southwestern Sate University and the University System of Georgia.
II. NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES
This manual neither implies nor establishes a contract between Georgia Southwestern State University and the employee. The contents of this Policy Manual summarize current Georgia Southwestern policies and programs and are intended as guidelines only. Georgia Southwestern retains the right to change, modify, suspend, interpret or cancel in whole or in part any of the published or unpublished personnel policies or practices of Georgia Southwestern, without advance notice, in its sole discretion, without having to give cause or justification to any employee. Recognition of these rights and prerogatives is a term and condition of employment and continued employment. As such, the contents of this handbook do not constitute the terms of an employment contract. Nothing contained in this policy manual should be construed as a guarantee of continued employment, but rather, employment with Georgia Southwestern is on an at-will basis. This means that the employment relationship may be terminated at any time by the employee or Georgia Southwestern for any reason not expressly prohibited by law. No representative or agent of Georgia Southwestern State University, other than the President, can authorize or sign an employment agreement contrary to the above terms or otherwise make any binding offer of employment for a specific time.
This manual is prepared for the convenience of Georgia Southwestern employees and is not to be construed as an official publication of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. In case of any divergence from or conflict with the Bylaws or Policies of the Board of Regents, the official Bylaws and Policies of the Board of Regents shall prevail.
III. EMPLOYMENT POLICIES
1. Equal Employment Opportunity Policy Statement
Georgia Southwestern is committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability. Equal opportunity extends to all aspects of the employment relationship, including hiring, transfers, promotions, training, terminations, working conditions, compensation, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment.
Every member of the University community is expected to uphold this policy as a matter of mutual respect and fundamental fairness in human relations. The policy has the unequivocal support of the President. All Georgia Southwestern employees are expected to ensure that nondiscriminatory practices are followed at Georgia Southwestern State University.Persons wishing to file complaints under the provisions of this policy should contact the Director of Affirmative Action.
2. Americans with Disabilities, Disabled Veterans and Veterans of the Vietnam Era
It is the policy of Georgia Southwestern State University not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because he or she is an individual with a disability, a disabled veteran or a veteran of the Vietnam era.
Every member of this university community is expected to uphold this policy as a matter of mutual respect and fundamental fairness in human relations. The policy has the unequivocal support of the President. All Georgia Southwestern employees are expected to ensure that nondiscriminatory practices are followed at Georgia Southwestern State University.Persons wishing to self-identify as an individual with a disability, disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era or file a complaint should contact the Director of Affirmative Action.
3. Sexual Harassment Policy
Respect for others is an important part of any civilized community and an absolutely essential element in a caring community of learning. Sexual harassment violates our belief in the dignity and value of each member of our community. Sexual harassment brings into the campus environment conduct that is neither conducive nor related to learning or job performance. Georgia Southwestern State University will not tolerate sexual harassment of any type on this campus. This policy applies to academic relationships as well as employment among faculty, staff, and students of Georgia Southwestern State University. These policies, which are consistent with the policies of the Board of Regents, are intended to comply with the law on sexual harassment.
Sexual Harassment Policy Statement
It has always been the policy of Georgia Southwestern to maintain the best possible working environment for all faculty, staff, and students. This includes the right of all employees and students to be free from sexual and all other forms of unlawful harassment of any kind in the workplace, including harassment because of someone's race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law. Georgia Southwestern will not tolerate such harassment. This subject is also part of our Equal
Employment Opportunity policy which protects the right of every employee to be free from unlawful discrimination of any kind.
Definition of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is an unwelcome advance, request for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term of condition of an individual's employment;
- submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting that individual; or
- such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
Sexual Harassment Can Take Many Forms Including, but not limited to:
- Remarks of a sexual nature concerning a person's body or clothing.
- Sexually explicit slurs or words which are used to describe a person.
- Unnecessary and unwelcome touching, patting, pinching or fondling.
- Unwelcome propositions or requests for social dates or sexual activity.
- The circulation or displaying of sexually oriented cartoons, pictures, or other potentially offensive materials while on campus.
- Remarks exchanged by two consenting adults that may be offensive to other individuals.
What should you do if you think that you're being subjected to Sexual Harassment?
First, make it clear to the harasser that his or her behavior is unwelcome, and firmly request that it be stopped. It is all too common for someone accused of sexual harassment to say, "I didn't realize that she/he would be offended by that." Whatever the intent, however, the effect of harassment can be devastating. Sensitivity to the impact of one's actions on others is essential.
If you feel you are a victim of sexual harassment, you should bring your concerns to your supervisor or the University's Affirmative Action Officer in the Human Resources Department. The earlier you report it, the earlier University officials can investigate your concerns. You are assured that any complaint will be handled confidentially and fairly. No reprisal or retaliation will occur because of the report of an incident of suspected sexual harassment. Any information gathered during the investigation will be kept separate from the employee's personnel file. Information will be disclosed on a need-to-know basis in order to investigate and resolve the matter. The seriousness of this type of complaint dictates that each incident be examined impartially and resolved promptly.
Refer to Page 9.
Preventing Sexual Harassment
All faculty, supervisors, and administrators who are employed by the University are obligated to take appropriate action to prevent sexual harassment. Any behavior that might be construed as sexual harassment, including apparently consenting sexual relationships with subordinates or students, is to be avoided. All members of the University community should educate themselves about the range of behavior included within the definition of sexual harassment. Departments are urged to hold their own discussions of the policy. Training sessions will be arranged through the Affirmative Action/Human Resources Department.
Responsibilities of Supervisors
Supervisory personnel have special responsibilities regarding sexual harassment. Supervisors are charged with promoting and maintaining an atmosphere that properly deters sexual harassment. Supervisors are expected to actively discourage all behaviors that might be construed as sexual harassment as stated in this policy.
Penalties for Sexual Harassment
Each incident will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Any employee who is found to have engaged in inappropriate conduct or harassment of another employee or student will be subject to appropriate action, according to the severity of the incident up to and including termination of employment.
4. Drug and Alcohol Policy
The abuse of alcohol and the use of illegal drugs by members of the Georgia Southwestern State University community are incompatible with the goals of the institution. In order to further the University's commitment to provide a healthy and productive educational environment, and in compliance and support of the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, and the Drug Free Workplace Policy, the University has established the following policy on alcohol and other drugs.
As an institution of higher education, the primary focus of the University is on the health and safety of all faculty, staff, and students. It is well substantiated that the health risks in using illicit drugs and abusing alcohol are enormous to the individual, as well as devastating to family, friends, and the community.
In the discharge of its responsibilities as an employer and an institution of higher education, Georgia Southwestern State University aggressively promotes and requires a drug free campus among its faculty, staff, and student body. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of illegal drugs or alcohol by Georgia Southwestern State University employees and students is prohibited by institutional policy.
Sanctions for Violation of Standards
Violations of this policy, including felony and/or misdemeanor drug or alcohol convictions during the course of employment at Georgia Southwestern State University, may result in appropriate disciplinary penalties being imposed by the University, up to and including termination of employment or expulsion and referral for legal prosecution as outlined in Section 800 of the Board of Regents Policy Manual.
In accordance with the Federal Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988, grant and contract employees must, as a condition of employment, agree to abide by the terms of this policy, and notify the employer of any criminal drug conviction no later than five working days after the conviction. For more information, see the GSW Drug Free Workplace Policy available in the Human Resources Office.
Counseling and Treatment Resources
Georgia Southwestern provides a confidential counseling and referral program and encourages faculty, staff, and students who feel they have a potential alcohol/other drug-related problem to utilize these services. A variety of counseling services and treatment centers is available throughout the state for anyone experiencing problems related to substance abuse. Although most counseling and treatment centers charge for their services, some programs are free of charge. Faculty and staff may obtain a list of available alcohol and other drug counseling services and treatment centers from the Human Resources Department.
If a faculty member, prior to an arrest for an offense involving a controlled substance, marijuana or a dangerous drug, notifies his or her immediate supervisor that he or she illegally uses a controlled substance, marijuana, or a dangerous drug and is receiving or agrees to receive treatment under a drug abuse and educational program approved by the institution President, such employee shall be retained by the institution for up to one year as long as the employee follows the treatment plan. The employee's work activities may be restructured, if, in the opinion of the immediate supervisor, it is deemed advisable. No statement made by the employee of a supervisor or other person, in order to comply with this policy shall be admissible in any civil, administrative or criminal proceeding as evidence against the employee. The rights herein granted shall be available to a University System of Georgia employee only once during a five-year period and shall not apply to any such employee who has refused to be tested or who has tested positive for a controlled substance, marijuana or a dangerous drug.
Employees in "high risk" jobs on a regular basis will be subject to random drug testing for evidence of use of illegal drugs. A "high risk" employee is defined as one whose job responsibilities pose a potential for significant risk or harm to the employee, other employees, or the general public in the event of inattention to duty or errors in judgment while on duty.
Campus Law Enforcement Officers are considered "high risk" employees. Random testing is defined as a process in which the names of "high risk" employees to be tested are chosen purely by lot.
Any "high risk" employee who declines a drug test, or who tests positive for drug use, will be terminated from employment. The identity of any officer who declines a drug test, or who tests positive for drug use, shall be withheld from all persons except those who have need for such information in their official capacity.
Pre-Employment Drug Testing
Pre-employment drug tests are required for individuals selected for positions which may directly impact the health, safety and welfare of others. Employment categories that are subject to pre-employment drug testing include: all public
safety officers and all physical plant employees. New positions created by Georgia Southwestern State University will be evaluated to determine the necessity for pre-employment drug screening. Current positions not requiring pre-employment drug screening are subject to reevaluation and may be added to the list of those effected. All positions
requiring pre-employment drug testing must be approved by the Director of Human Resources. The University reserves the right to reject an offer of employment to a candidate who refuses to undergo the pre-employment drug screening, who fails to appear for drug screening, or who tests positive for drug use.
5. HIPAA Policy
In support of the health and safety of our employees and students, GSW maintains personal health care information about its students, employees, and others. All GSW employees are committed top protecting the privacy and confidentiality of this information. Georgia Southwestern State University fully supports and complies with all federal and state statutes and rules regarding the use, maintenance, transfer, and disposition of health care records and information.
6. Right To Know Law
In compliance with the Georgia Public Employee Hazardous Chemical Protection and Right to Know Act of 1988, Georgia Southwestern State University has established a written Hazardous Chemical Protection Communication Plan which is available for review in the Office of Environmental Health and Safety. New employees are required to attend a training session conducted by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety which provides an overview of the hazardous chemical protection laws, regulations, and policies in place at Georgia Southwestern and a summary of employee rights in hazards chemical protection. An annual refresher course is required once a year. Additional training may be needed if an employee moves from one department to another.
7. Nepotism - Employment of Relatives
The criteria for hiring and promotion at the University are the required qualifications and performance as set forth in the policies of the Board of Regents. Relationship by family or marriage constitutes neither an advantage nor a disadvantage; however, no individual will be employed in a department or unit under the supervision of a relative who has or may have a direct effect on the individual's progress, performance or welfare. Relatives are defined as husbands and wives, parents and children, brothers, sisters, and any in-laws of the foregoing.
8. Family Members in the Workplace
While the University encourages the families of faculty and staff to take advantage of opportunities on the campus, it is emphasized that University employees should not allow family members to visit them on a regular or prolonged basis while in the workplace. It is expected that University personnel will make the necessary arrangements for child care.
9. Employment of Foreign Nationals
The employment of individuals who are not U.S. citizens shall be in compliance with the appropriate laws and regulations administered by the U.S. Immigration Service. All new employees must present evidence that they are authorized to work in the United States.
10. Definitions of Employment Status
For the purpose of personnel administration, all employees of Georgia Southwestern State University are categorized in one of three classifications: Faculty, Professional/Administrative, or Staff.
Faculty members are governed by the policies as set forth in the Georgia Southwestern Faculty Handbook. The Faculty Handbook is available in the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Regular Classified Employees
Personnel employed for a continuous period that is expected to exceed two academic semesters or six calendar months are "regular" employees. Regular employees employed on a half-time or better basis have all institutional benefits extended to them. Regular employees employed on a less than half-time basis are not entitled to institutional benefits.
The Human Resources Department is responsible for determining if a position is to be designated as either exempt or non-exempt in compliance with federal law.
Exempt personnel - An employee will be classified as exempt from provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act when their duties and salary meet the criteria required in the Act. Exempt employees are not entitled to additional pay or compensatory time off for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a given work week.
Non-exempt personnel - An employee will be classified as non-exempt when their duties do not meet the criteria to be exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Non-exempt employees are subject to the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and are eligible to be compensated for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. OVERTIME MUST BE APPROVED IN ADVANCE BY THE SUPERVISOR OR DEPARTMENT HEAD.
Personnel not employed as regular classified employees are considered temporary employees. Temporary employees are employed for a period no longer than six calendar months, however, subject to the approval of the Chief Business Officer or his/her designated representative, temporary employment may be extended for an additional six months if necessary. Temporary employees having worked for a twelve month period must have a 30-day service break prior to subsequent employment of a temporary nature. All student assistants are classified as temporary employees, and are not subject to these service and reemployment restrictions.
Full-time, part-time, or otherwise institutionally employed students are employed only on an hourly basis with remuneration for such work to be computed by the hour unless otherwise classified by the Director of Human Resources.
11. Conditions of Employment
The following forms are REQUIRED TO BE COMPLETED BY ALL EMPLOYEES as a condition of employment.
- The U. S. Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization I-9 form must be completed within three days of employment.
- The State Security questionnaire
- The Loyalty Oath (required by the laws of the state of Georgia)
- Federal and Georgia withholding tax forms
- When applicable, application for membership in the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia or one of the Optional Retirement Plans must be made. Employees eligible for the optional retirement plans have 60 days from their hire date to make an election. This election is irrevocable. For benefits eligible employees only: optional benefit forms (for example health insurance) must be completed within 31 days of the employee's original hire date with the University in order to participate in benefit programs.
The Human Resources Department maintains a file on every employee at Georgia Southwestern State University. Employees should immediately notify Human Resources of any change in name, dependents, address, or telephone number (at home or Georgia Southwestern State University), so that the individual's file will be current. The personal information in the employee's file is confidential and will be released to persons outside of the university only upon written authorization of the employee or as required by law. An employee may request an opportunity to review the contents of his or her individual personnel file by appointment in the presence of a Human Resources representative.
Provisional Employment Period
Each new classified employee is required to serve the first six months of employment in the University System of Georgia in a provisional status. During this time, the new employee has the opportunity to evaluate the University as a place to work. Likewise, the supervisor will evaluate the employee's job performance. If the employee's work
performance is not satisfactory, the employee will be notified in writing prior to the completion of the six month provisional period and the employee may be terminated at that time without the right of appeal.
Public Safety employees are subject to the same provisional employment requirement as other classified employees, except that the six month provisional period does not begin until the public safety officer has completed the mandated training for certification as a police officer. This special provision only applies to those public safety employees for whom specified training is mandated by state law and such training occurs after their employment.
Employees who resign for any reason are requested to give as much notice as possible. The customary amount of time is two weeks, but a shorter period of time may be agreed upon in writing between the administrative supervisor and the employee. The last day the employee physically reports for work will be considered the termination date.
On or before the employee's last day worked, the employee's supervisor shall schedule a convenient time for the employee to have an exit interview with the Director of Human Resources/Affirmative Action Officer.
The exit interview shall be used to satisfy the University's Equal Employment Opportunity guidelines and to gain feedback on the University's personnel policies, procedures, and practices as viewed by the employee.
Reduction in Force
Should it become necessary to reduce the work force at the University, job elimination or job consolidation may be required. When personnel reductions become necessary, affected employees will be given as much notice as possible so that they may seek employment elsewhere.
Classified employees who are terminated, demoted or otherwise adversely affected by reorganization, redirection, program modification or financial exigency, as approved or determined by the University president or designee, are not governed by the procedures described in the Employee Discipline section of this handbook or the Grievance Procedures. The employee may appeal the outplacement decision to the President in writing within five business days following notification of the outplacement action.
Details regarding reduction in force as it relates to faculty members can be found in Section 805 of the Board of Regents Policy Manual.
Conflicts sometimes arise in the relationship between the University, as employer, and its employees. Both the employee with a grievance and the University benefit when the University responds to grievances promptly and fairly. It is the policy of Georgia Southwestern that all employees receive fair and equitable treatment.
Georgia Southwestern does not support any punitive or retaliatory action against an employee for any reason. Any such action taken against an employee for seeking redress under these procedures will not be tolerated. Violation of this rule is grounds for dismissal.
Informal Grievance Procedure
Under normal conditions, the employee should seek to resolve the grievance with the immediate supervisor or a first line manager consistent with our philosophy of resolving disputes at the lowest possible level in the organization. These
discussions should be conducted in private. If the grievance involves the immediate supervisor, the employee has the option of having a discussion in private, and/or will be given an opportunity to have another employee present as a witness. If the grievance remains unresolved, the employee may then seek to resolve the grievance at each level of supervision up to and including the Department Head/Dean/Vice President.
If the grievance is not resolved or if circumstances of the grievance prevent the employee from using the above mentioned steps, the employee may present the grievance to the Human Resources Director.
The Human Resources Director shall investigate and counsel with the employee, the supervisor, and the department head in an attempt to resolve the grievance.
If all reasonable informal efforts to resolve the complaint fail, the aggrieved employee is encouraged to contact the Human Resources Department to discuss mediation as a solution to resolving the grievance.
Mediation is an informal process that involves a neutral third party who will assist in resolving the dispute. The objective of this process is to come to an agreement that is fair and meets the needs of the parties involved. This process is confidential and private and is conducted in a private setting.
Mediation does not waive the rights of any aggrieved party to seek resolution of his/her grievance through formal avenues. Mediation is a cost effective, voluntary, fast and efficient way to resolve grievances; it thus encourages reaching a mutually acceptable resolution.
If the employee is not satisfied with the outcome of mediation, he or she can file a formal grievance.
Formal Grievance Procedure
The Grievance Panel shall provide a means to hear the complaints of University faculty and staff who have exhausted normal channels but who have not received satisfaction in the resolution of a grievance by the informal process and/or mediation.
All regular employees or any group of regular employees may file a grievance under this procedure for any action or inaction by an employee of Georgia Southwestern State University that they believe is unfair, discriminatory, or improperly reached due to conditions of employment and perceived as unjust or inequitable or when they believe a mistake has been made in the administration, application, development, or interpretation of a rule, plan, or policy.
The formal grievance process includes a step-by-step procedure for presenting complaints or appealing a personnel action. After completing the steps described above to resolve the grievance, the employee may request, in writing, from the President a hearing with a Review Board. The Review Board will make a recommendation as to the appropriateness of the case. The Review Board follows specific processes and time frames. For more information about employee rights and a copy of the grievance procedure guidelines, contact the Human Resources Department.
IV. SEARCH PROCEDURES
1. Establishing a New Position
Classification of a new position is normally accomplished on or before April 1 of each year for inclusion in the next year's budget. Exceptions will be made when the new position is established as a result of grant awards or major unforeseen program changes. All new positions must be classified by the Human Resources Department before inclusion into the institutional budget and prior to any recruitment efforts.
The department head, in consultation with Human Resources, should review the appropriate job description for the proper classification. The department head submits the new job description and justification, including funding sources, to the appropriate senior administrator for approval. If approved, the department head will contact Human Resources to initiate the search process.
2. Search Procedures
When job openings occur, Georgia Southwestern adheres to the following procedures to ensure fast and efficient filling of an open position. As with all other aspects of its selection and hiring process, Georgia Southwestern makes every effort to ensure equal employment opportunity for all individuals and abides by the EEO and nondiscrimination provisions of all applicable federal, state, and local laws.
When filling a job vacancy, the department head to whom the position reports must complete a "Request to Fill Position Vacancy" form, available from the Human Resources Department. The completed Request to Fill along with an accurate up-to-date job description is forwarded to the appropriate senior administrator for approval. The senior administrator must obtain authorization from the President to fill the vacant position before a search can be initiated. The "Request to Fill" is then returned to Human Resources and in consultation with the hiring official or search committee chair, the search process is initiated. In addition, a search packet is sent to the hiring official or search committee chair to aid them in the search/appointment process. Of course, Human Resources is available to respond to questions or provide assistance. Also included in this packet is the Affirmative Action paperwork that must be completed and returned to Human Resources at the conclusion of the search.
All searches are posted internally and externally. Support Staff vacancies are posted on campus, with the local Department of Labor, on Georgia Southwestern 's web page, and in the local newspaper. All applicants for support staff positions should complete a pre-employment application form.
Administrative/Professional vacancies are posted on campus, with the University System Applicant Clearinghouse, the local Department of Labor, in local and regional newspapers, on Georgia Southwestern 's web page and in professional publications.
Faculty and senior administrative vacancies are advertised on campus, with the University System Applicant Clearinghouse, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Georgia Southwestern 's web page and professional journals and associations.
All advertisements include a statement expressing Georgia Southwestern's commitment to equal employment opportunity for all applicants.
Current employees who are qualified for and interested in posted positions should follow the application procedure as specified on the Position Vacancy Notice.
Reduction In Force Policy
Except in very unusual circumstances, the need to protect the employment of current employees takes precedence over the need to follow posting of vacant positions and advertising procedures. Thus, active employees who have been notified that they are being laid off may occasionally be placed directly into vacant positions for which they are qualified, thus waiving normal posting requirements.
Disqualification of Candidates for Employment
A candidate will be disqualified for employment for any of the following reasons:
1. Conviction of a criminal drug offense shall disqualify a candidate for not less than two years. Any candidate who has been convicted of a second or subsequent criminal drug offense shall be ineligible for employment or re-employment for a period of five years from the most recent date of conviction.
2. Any false statement of material fact in the application.
3. The candidate is or has been a member of an organization advocating the violent overthrow of the government of the United States.
- The candidate has been convicted of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude, unless the applicant has been pardoned.
Details regarding disqualification of candidates for employment as it relates to faculty can be found in section 803.1201 in the Board of Regents Policy Manual.
Department heads hiring an employee for a position covered by the Georgia Southwestern Pay Plan for Support Staff employees should refer to the Pay Plan for guidelines regarding salary administration.
When making an offer of employment, whether oral or in writing, care should be taken to avoid any implied contract. Employment with Georgia Southwestern State University is on an at-will basis meaning that the employment relationship may be terminated at any time by the employee or Georgia Southwestern for any reason not expressly prohibited by law.
For Professional/Administrative/Faculty positions, once the best qualified candidate for the position is identified, the department head, after consultation with the senior administrative officer, normally makes an oral offer of employment to the candidate, which, if accepted, is followed by a written offer of employment from the senior administrative officer.
Offers of employment for positions are conditional inasmuch as they are contingent on Georgia Southwestern's verification of reference information and completion of any background check and the candidate's successful completion of any post-offer medical examination required by Georgia Southwestern, if applicable.
All new employees must come by the Human Resources Department within a few days of their employment to complete the necessary employment, payroll, and benefit forms.
Notification to Unsuccessful Candidates
Once a hire has been made, the department head is responsible for notifying unsuccessful candidates that the position has been filled.
1. Classification System
Georgia Southwestern State University administors a uniform classification and compensation program. This classification system is designed to group positions that have similar duties, have approximately the same levels of complexity and responsibility, require similar training and experience at the time of recruitment.
All "Professional/Administrative" and "Staff" employment categories will be classified in accordance with the University System of Georgia Job Classification System. Campus specific "working titles" may be authorized by the Human Resources Department.
The pay rates for each position are determined by the knowledge, training, skills and level of responsibility assigned to that position. In addition, every effort is made to ensure equitable salary ranges in keeping with other universities and similar positions in the region.
The University has a formalized "Pay Plan" for non-exempt (hourly paid) positions which provides guidelines regarding hiring and other salary administration guidelines for classified employees. The Pay Plan for Support Staff Employees is on file in the Human Resources Department.
2. Hours of Work
The normal workday for regular, full-time classified employees is eight hours per day. The normal work week is 40 hours. Georgia Southwestern abides by the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Alternate working hours may be established by the University as the need arises.
3. Overtime Compensation
The Fair Labor Standards Act requires overtime payment for non-exempt employees whose hours worked exceeds 40 hours in the established work week. "Hours worked" refers to actual hours worked during the workweek, excluding vacation, holiday and sick leave. The compensation rate for overtime is one and one-half (1 1/2) times the employee's regular hourly rate. All overtime requires department head approval.
4. Comp Time
Georgia Southwestern policy does not allow compensatory time to be taken in lieu of overtime.
5. Garnishment of Pay
Georgia Southwestern considers the acceptance and settlement of just and honest debts to be a mark of personal responsibility. The University is required by law to accept and process garnishments served by officials of the court.
6. Withholding of Pay
The University is authorized to withhold paychecks or deduct from paychecks amounts owed by Georgia Southwestern employees for any fine, fee, penalty or other financial obligation to the University.
7. Salary Adjustments
Salary adjustments are not automatic each year but depend on appropriations by the State Legislature and salary guidelines of the Board of Regents. Salary increases, if authorized, are based on an employee's performance for the previous year. Effective dates for salary adjustments are determined by the State Legislature.
VI. EMPLOYEE BENEFITS
In addition to the liberal leave program offered by Georgia Southwestern, the following benefits are available to each new regular employee working at least one-half time in a regular budgeted position.
Please refer to the appropriate plan booklets, available in the Human Resources Department, or call the Human Resources Department for details concerning specific plans.
Group Health Insurance
Hospitalization, surgical, medical, and major medical benefits are available to regular employees of the University working half-time or more. The University pays a percentage of the premium with the employee paying the balance. Employee health premiums are automatically pre-taxed. The group health insurance is self-insured through the University System of Georgia. Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Georgia is the Plan Administrator.
Employees and their eligible dependents, as defined by the policy, must enroll within 31 days of said eligibility or await the open enrollment period normally held in January of each year.
Because the employee's share of the premium is pre-taxed, the choices made regarding coverage must remain in effect for the entire plan year (January 1 - December 31.) The only exception to this rule is a change in family status. The plan booklet outlines what constitutes a change in family status. For more information see the Human Resources Department.
Note: Certain medical services must be pre-certified under the plan. Please refer to the plan booklet for details regarding the plan, or, contact the Human Resources Department.
Group Dental Insurance
Dental insurance is available within 31 days of employment to all employees and their eligible dependents as defined by the group dental insurance plan. The employee pays the full cost of the premium and the premium is automatically pre-taxed.
Because the employee's share of the premium is pre-taxed, the choices made regarding coverage must remain in effect for the entire plan year (January 1 - December 31.) The only exception to this rule is a change in family status. The plan booklet outlines what constitutes a change in family status. For more information, see the Human Resources Department.
Note: An open enrollment period for dental insurance has not been available since the initial offering of the plan by the University System.
Group Life Insurance
A basic life insurance policy in the amount of $25,000, with accidental death and disbursement coverage, is provided for all regular employees of the University who work one-half time or more.
Supplemental life insurance is available in amounts equal to one, two or three times annual salary to all regular employees of the University who work one-half time or more. The employees pays the full premium for this coverage.
Dependent Life Insurance is also available to dependents of regular employees of the University who work one-half time or more. The employee pays the full premium for this coverage. The employee may enroll a spouse and unmarried dependent children to age 19 (age 25 if a full time student).
Continuation of Group Insurance Benefits for Disabled Employees
Employees who become permanently and totally disabled under the criteria established by the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia and also have at least ten years of service with the University System, even though they might not be members of the Teachers Retirement System, will remain eligible for employee and dependent group health and life insurance benefits. The University will continue to pay its portion of the cost of group insurance for disabled career employees.
Employees who have less than ten years of service with the University System and are disabled based on the same criteria may remain in the group health and life insurance program for a period of twenty-four months with full University System participation in the cost. The inclusion in the group may continue after the twenty-four month period, but University System participation in the cost will cease. Continuing of Group Insurance Benefits for Dependents of Deceased Employees, Retirees or Disabled Employees
Dependents of an employee who dies while in active service or the dependents of a retired employee (either of whom was eligible for retirement under the criteria established by the Teachers Retirement System and who has at least ten years of service with the University System, even though they may not be a member of the Teachers Retirement System) may remain in the group life and health insurance plan. The University will continue to pay its portion of the cost of group insurance for dependents of an employee who dies in active service or the dependents of a retired employee.
The University offers a long-term disability insurance protection plan to eligible employees to provide a monthly income should the employee become totally disabled while employed at the University. The employee pays the full premium for this coverage.
Cancer and/or Intensive Care Insurance is available to eligible employees. The employee pays the full premium for this coverage.
Georgia Southwestern employees and their families enrolled in the group health care plan can obtain medical care and services at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Georgia.
The Georgia Care Program provides quality medical care and services to University System employees at a reduced cost to the employee and their dependents. The Plan works in concert with the health care plan by waiving the co-payment portion of covered expenses when medical care is provided by the staff at the Medical College. However, deductibles still apply.
2. Flexible Spending Accounts (Dependent Care and Medical)
An employee may elect to set aside up to $5,000 of annual salary from pre-tax dollars in an account for dependent care expenses or up to $3,000 for out-of-pocket medical expenses. Flexible Spending Accounts reimburse qualified expenses with dollars that are not taxed. This account is subject to applicable IRS regulations.
3. Tax Sheltered Annuities/Deferred Compensation Plans
Georgia Southwestern provides tax sheltered and deferred compensation account programs as authorized under Section 403(b) and Section 457(b) of the Internal Revenue Code. Salary reduction agreements are processed through the Human Resources Department. The University cannot recommend a particular plan or underwriting company. Proper investigation of an annuity program is the employee's responsibility. Further information concerning tax deferred annuities is available from the Human Resources Department.
4. Social Security
All regular employees working half-time or more, except those specifically excluded under the agreements with the Employee's Retirement System, are covered under the provisions of Title II of the Social Security Act, as amended.
5. Workmen's Compensation
All employees of the University are covered by the provisions of the Worker's Compensation Act. This act provides protection in the event of injury or death while performing services for the University. When an on-the-job injury occurs, regardless of severity, the employee should notify their supervisor and the Human Resources Office immediately. If medical attention is required, treatment must be given by a physician listed on the "Panel of Physicians" which is posted in each department and in the Human Resources Department. However, in the case of an emergency, immediate treatment should be obtained from the nearest hospital emergency room.
Under the Return to Work Program, if it is determined that an injured employee could benefit from temporary and/or modified duties, the employee will be encouraged to work in a transitional assignment until such time as he or she can return to the regular work assignment.
6. Unemployment Compensation
Regular employees of the University are covered by the provisions of the Employment Security Act which guarantees continued income to employees who are separated from University employment through no fault of their own.
VII. LEAVE POLICIES
Georgia Southwestern employees working full-time, other than temporary employees, shall be entitled to vacation time based on the anniversary date of their employment. Faculty members are not eligible for vacation leave.
1 - 5 years Accrual at 1 1/4 days/month (15 days year)
5 - 10 years Accrual at 1 1/2 days/month (18 days year)
Over 10 years Accrual at 1 3/4 days/month (21 days year)
Employees, other than temporary employees, working one-half time or more but less than full-time shall earn and accrue vacation time in an equivalent ratio to their percentage of time employed.
Employees may accrue leave not to exceed the maximum of 45 days as of December 31 of each calendar year. Terminating employees may be paid for a maximum of 45 days accrued leave and do not earn leave beyond their last working day.
Earned vacation shall be taken at times mutually acceptable to the employee and the immediate supervisor.
Temporary employees, including student assistants, and regular employees working less than one-half time do not earn or accrue vacation time.
2. Sick Leave
Regular full-time employees shall accrue sick leave at the rate of one working day per calendar month of service. Regular part-time employees working one-half time or more accumulate sick leave in an equivalent ratio to their percentage of time employed. Sick leave for employees shall be cumulative.
Employees may utilize accrued sick leave for the following reasons:
- Illness or injury of the employee.
- Medical and dental treatment or consultation.
- Quarantine due to a contagious illness in the employee's household.
- Illness, injury, or death in the employee's immediate family requiring the employee's presence. "Immediate Family" is defined as: mother, father, husband, wife, son, daughter, brother, sister, mother-in-law, father in law, son-in law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law and grandparents.
The death of a family member can be a very difficult and emotional time, therefore Georgia Southwestern supports the need for time away from work. In the event of a death in an employee's immediate family, regular full-time and regular part-time employees may take up to three days sick leave, if needed. Of course, additional time may be granted after consultation with the employee's supervisor.
If sick leave is claimed for a continuous period in excess of five (5) working days, a physician's statement is required to permit further claim of sick leave benefits by the employee-patient. At the supervisor's discretion, a physician's statement can be required for a shorter period.
3. Sick Leave Without Pay
Any employee unable to return to work after exhausting all accumulated sick leave and accrued vacation leave may request sick leave without pay for a period not to exceed one year. Furthermore, such approved sick leave shall allow the employee the right to elect to continue their group insurance benefits and the institution will continue its share of the cost for a period not to exceed one year. All other benefits are prohibited which otherwise would accrue to the employee.
4. Educational Leave Without Pay
Institutions may grant educational leave without pay to full-time employees for period not to exceed one year at a time for the purpose of encouraging professional development. Approved education leave without pay will allow the employee the right to elect to continue group insurance benefits with institutional participation.
5. Military Leave with Pay
Ordered Military Duty
For the purpose of this policy, ordered military duty shall mean any military duty performed in the service of the State or the United States, including, but not limited to, service schools conducted by the armed forces of the United States. Such duty shall be deemed "ordered military duty" regardless of whether the orders are issued with the consent of the employee (BR Minutes, 1990-91, p. 173).
Leave of Absence
An employee who receives orders for active military duty shall be entitled to absent himself or herself from his or her duties and shall be deemed to have a leave of absence with pay for the period of such ordered military duty, and while going to and returning from such duty, not to exceed a total of 18 workdays in any one federal fiscal year (October 1 - September 30) (as authorized by Georgia Law O.C.G.A. § 38-2-279[e]). At the expiration of the maximum paid leave time, continued absence by the employee shall be considered as military leave without pay. The employee shall be required to submit a copy of his or her orders to active military duty (BR Minutes 1990-91, pp. 173-174).
Emergency Leave of Absence
Notwithstanding the foregoing leave limitation of 18 days, in the event the Governor declares an emergency and orders an employee to State active duty as a member of the National Guard, such employee while performing such duty shall be paid his or her salary or other compensation as an employee for a period not exceeding 30 days in any one federal fiscal year.
Payment of Annual Leave
After an employee has exhausted his/her paid military leave, an institution may pay the employee for his/her accumulated annual leave (BR Minutes, 1990-91, p. 174).
6. Maternity Leave
Disability due to pregnancy shall be considered as any other disability and appropriate sick leave provisions of these policies shall apply.
7. Family Leave
Any employee who has been employed on a half-time basis or greater for at least twelve months is eligible for twelve work weeks of family leave during a 12-month period commencing on the date the family leave begins. Family leave shall be unpaid leave; however, if an employee is eligible to use accumulated sick leave the employee, after obtaining permission from the employer, may do so exclusive of the twelve weeks of family leave. The employee may also utilize any accrued annual leave with the approval of the employer. Family leave shall be granted to an eligible employee in the event of:
a. the birth of the child of the employee;
b. the placement of a child with the employee for adoption;
c. a serious health condition of the employee's child, spouse, parent or spouse's parent necessitating the employee's presence; or
d. a serious health condition of the employee which renders them unable to perform the duties of their job.
With certain exceptions as indicated in the Family Leave Act, family leave entitles the employee to be restored to the position held prior to going on family leave or to an equivalent position with equivalent benefits and pay. Family leave allows the employee to maintain their employee benefits during the period of leave with institutional participation in the payment of premiums.
8. Miscellaneous Leave
Fair Labor Standards Act
When an exempt employee is absent from work for less than one scheduled workday and his/her accumulated leave is insufficient to cover the partial day of absence, the employer will: 1) deduct the cost for such leave in hourly increments from an exempt employee's salary; or, 2) place the exempt employee on leave without pay, if so requested by the exempt employee. Such action by the employer will not disqualify the exempt status of the employee's position (29 CFR 541.5d).
Court duty leave with pay shall be granted to regular employees for the purpose of serving on a jury or as a witness. Such leave shall be granted upon presentation of official orders from the appropriate court.
Employees of the University System are encouraged to exercise their constitutional right to vote in all federal, state, and local elections. If election polls are not open at least two (2) hours before or two (2) hours after an employee's normally scheduled work shift, sufficient leave time must be granted to permit the employee to vote. In this instance, an institution should grant the employee a two-hour block of time in which to vote, if needed (BR Minutes, April 2002).
Military Physical Examination
Any regular employee required by Federal law to take a military physical examination shall be paid for any time lost to take such an examination.
At the discretion of the President of an institution personal leave of absence without pay for periods not to exceed one year may be approved. Such approved personal leave shall allow the employee the right to elect to continue group insurance benefits.
Leave for Organ and Marrow Donation
Each employee who serves as an organ donor for the purpose of transplantation shall receive a leave of absence, with pay, of thirty days. Each employee who serves as a bone marrow donor for the purpose of transplantation shall receive a leave of absence, with pay of seven days. Leave taken under this provision shall not be charged against or deducted from an employee's accrued annual or sick leave. Such leave shall be included as service in computing any retirement or pension benefits. This provision shall apply only to an employee who actually donates an organ or marrow and who presents to the appropriate supervisor a statement from a licensed medical practitioner or hospital administor that the employee is making an organ or marrow donation (BR Minutes, 2002-03, p. ___)
In the event of inclement weather or any emergency which requires leave of absence of employees, the President of a System institution may declare leave with or without pay (BR minutes, 1992-93, p. 135).
Georgia Southwestern observes 12 official holidays each year. A schedule of holidays is published each year by the Human Resources Department.
A terminating employee will not be paid for any official holidays occurring after the last working day of their employment.
It is the policy of the University to provide for the retirement of all eligible employees, either through the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia or the Regents Retirement Plan. Eligible employees for TRS are those employees in covered positions who work half-time or more and who are eligible for the fringe benefits program of the University. Eligible employees of the Regents Retirement Plan are those employees defined in the Board of Regent's Policy Manual as Corps of Instruction and Administrative Officers and as further defined by the University Statutes, and whose appointment is subject to approval of the Board of Regents.
Employees who plan to retire should contact the Human Resources Department at least 60 days prior to their anticipated date of retirement to assure their retirement account is in order. This advance notice of retirement will allow sufficient time to purchase prior service and sick leave credits, and receive benefit estimates from the retirement system, and to attend to other matters regarding fringe benefits, etc.
2. Retired Employee's Insurance
Employees of the University who retire from the University System under the criteria established by the Teachers Retirement System (even though they may not be members of the Teacher Retirement System) are eligible to continue as members of the basic and dependent group life insurance and health benefits plans. In order to qualify for this benefit, the retiring employee must have ten (10) years of continuous service to the State of Georgia of which the final two (2) years of the continuous service must have been to the University System of Georgia. The University will continue to pay its portion of the cost of group insurance for retired career employees.
3. Employment Beyond Retirement
When an employee retires from the University and is receiving benefits from the Teachers Retirement System, the Employees Retirement System or the Regents Retirement Plan, payment for services rendered to the University by that person without prior approval by the Board of Regents is prohibited. In no event will payment for services rendered be considered if compensation for that time, together with benefits being paid from the Teachers Retirement System, the Employees Retirement System, or the Regents Retirement Plan exceed the compensation the individual was earning at the time of retirement.
VIIII. EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT
1. Tuition Remission and Reimbursement
The Tuition Reimbursement and Remission Policy is designed to foster the professional growth and development of the University System's full-time employees by waiving or reimbursing partial or total tuition and fees for job related courses on a space and funds available basis.
Full-time employees employed at a University System institution for at least six months and eligible for benefits can participate in this program contingent on approval by their supervisor. Courses must be of direct and significant assistance to the employee in carrying out present duties and responsibilities and/or professional development.
Contact the Human Resources Department for applications for tuition remission and reimbursement and further details.
2. Faculty and Staff Development Program
The University offers training and development opportunities for faculty and staff to help improve abilities, skills and performance. Workshops include topics related to professional and personal development, supervisory skill development, basic skill development, job-specific training and career development.
With supervisory approval, employees may attend seminars and other training programs offered by various consultants. Such seminars and training should be deemed appropriate to enhance performance, advancement, etc. and the cost may be paid from department travel budgets.
4. Employee Service Recognition
Georgia Southwestern honors regular full-time and part-time employees receiving benefits who have continuous service with Georgia Southwestern for every 5 years of obtained service, up to 30 years. The employee will choose from a selection of gifts for their service accomplishment. If a break in service of more than 30 days occurs, the employee's service time is calculated from the most recent hire date.
5. Job Postings
The Human Resources Department distributes Position Vacancy Notices for all job vacancies across campus. Employees who are qualified and interested in posted positions are encouraged to apply for potential advancement or transfer opportunities following the application procedure as specified in the notice.
6. Performance Evaluations
Georgia Southwestern has established a system of performance evaluations for all classified employees. These evaluations provide a documented record of the employee's job performance and a means of defining strengths and weaknesses in job performance. In addition, it provides an opportunity for communication between the supervisor and employee on the subjects of job requirements, performance expectations for the future, and potential for personal or professional development. All classified employees are evaluated by their immediate supervisor or department head on an annual basis.
Employees in the six-month provisional period will have a formal written evaluation after three months of employment and prior to completing the 6-month provisional period.
Special Note: The Performance Evaluation guidelines, procedures and forms for classified staff are available in the Human Resources Department.
Whenever practicable, vacancies should be filled by promotion of present employees. A promotion is the shift of an employee from one position to another having more responsible duties or involving more skill (higher classification). To be promoted, the employee must meet the minimum qualifications required by the new position. Reclassification of an employee's current position can also result in a promotion.
Policies regarding salary administration in the promotion of non-exempt employees are outlined in the Georgia Southwestern Pay Plan for Support Staff Employees.
8. Reclassification of an Established Position
The reclassification of an established position should be a direct result of an identifiable organizational or position responsibility change. Reclassification can result in the upgrade, downgrade or change in a job classification. Reclassification of existing positions require the approval of the appropriate senior administrator and are normally effective the beginning of the fiscal year.
Department Heads should submit reclassification requests to the Director of Human Resources during the annual evaluation period for consideration in the upcoming fiscal year budget. After discussion with the department head, the incumbent employee, and a comparison of similar positions on campus, the Director of Human Resources will make an assessment as to whether the reclassification is appropriate and will forward a recommendation to the President for final determination. The Human Resources Department will notify the employee and department head accordingly.
Transfers must be based on mutual agreement between departments. A transfer is the shift of an employee from one position to another of the same classification or to one with comparable skills and in the same general pay range.
X. STANDARDS OF CONDUCT
Each employee is expected to adhere to their scheduled hours. If an employee is unable to report to work as scheduled for any reason, the employee should promptly notify his or her supervisor. Failure to give the appropriate notification may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
2. Non-Solicitation Policy
Solicitation for any purpose on behalf of any individual, organization or association during the normal working schedule must be pre-approved by Human Resources. This policy enables the University to maintain an efficient working operation without interference from solicitation efforts that disrupt work routines. Persons not employed by Georgia Southwestern may not at any time, solicit or distribute literature or other printed material on University property for any purpose. Supervisors are responsible for enforcing this policy in their work areas.
3. Computer Security Statement
University equipment including computer hardware and software are valuable assets. They should be used for official university business only. Although every effort is made to secure the privacy of each authorized user, messages or files stored on the computer or system network should not be considered to be entirely private or secure. Under the Georgia Open Records law, it is possible that information which is stored on a computer system, including electronic mail, would be available for inspection by any member of the public.
4. Confidential Records and Information
Many employees have access to confidential records and information during their regular duty assignment. Privileged and confidential information must not be shared with others not authorized to receive such information. Employees who violate confidentiality are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
5. Dress and Personal Appearance
Georgia Southwestern employees are representatives of the University and are therefore expected to maintain an appropriate appearance that is professional, neat and clean. It is important to ensure that the University's image is projected favorably. Dress and appearance should not be offensive to students, visitors, or co-workers.
6. Outside Activities
An employee of the University System shall not engage in any occupation, pursuit, or endeavor which will interfere with the regular and punctual discharge of official duties.
Professional employees are encouraged to participate in professional activity as long as it does not interfere with the regular and punctual discharge of official duties provided the activity meets one of the following criteria:
1. is a means of personal professional development;
2. serves the community, state or nation; or
3. is consistent with the objectives of the university.
For all activities, except single-occasion activities, the employee shall report in writing through official channels the proposed arrangements and secure the approval of the President, or designate, prior to engaging in the activities. Such activities include consulting, teaching, speaking, and participating in business or service enterprises.
Employees may not manage or take an active part in a political campaign which interferes with the performance of duties or services for which compensation is received from the University System.
Employees may not hold elective political office at the state or federal level.
Employees seeking elective political office at the state or federal level must first request a leave of absence without pay beginning prior to qualification as a candidate in a primary or general election and ending after the general or final election. If elected to state or federal office the employee must resign prior to assuming office.
Employees may seek and hold elective office at other than the state or federal level, or appointive office, when such candidacy for or holding of the office does not conflict or interfere with the employee's duties and responsibilities to the institution or the System.
Use of University property or services for political activity is prohibited.
7. Conflict of Interest
An employee of the University System of Georgia should avoid actual or apparent conflict of interest between his or her university obligations and outside activities.
An employee of the University System shall not accept gratuities, courtesies, or gifts in any form whatsoever from any person or persons, corporations, or associations that, directly or indirectly, may seek to use the connection thus formed for securing favorable comment or consideration on any commercial commodity, process or undertaking.
9. Cooperation in Internal Investigations
An employee of the University System shall cooperate to the fullest extent possible in any internal investigation conducted by his or her employment unit when directed to do so by the immediate superior or such other persons who have been given investigative authority by the President of the institution. Such cooperation may involve the use of polygraph tests. Failure to cooperate fully shall be grounds for adverse personnel action, including possible termination of employment.
10. Disruptive Behavior
Any student, faculty member, administrator, or employee, acting individually or in concert with others, who clearly obstructs or disrupts, or attempts to obstruct or disrupt any teaching, research, administrative, disciplinary, or public service activity, or any other activity authorized to be discharged or held on any campus of the University System is considered by the Board of Regents to have committed an act of gross irresponsibility and shall be subject to disciplinary procedures, possibly resulting in dismissal or termination of employment.
11. Personal Conduct
Georgia Southwestern State University expects all employees to follow published University System of Georgia rules and regulations, and standards of courtesy, conduct, and cooperation. The following are examples of actions which are unacceptable to the University and may result in disciplinary action or termination of employment:
- * Insubordination
- * Conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude
- * Theft
- * Intoxication or drinking on the job
- * Falsifying records, reports, or information
- * Failure to report an employee's absence or reason for absence
- Rude, discourteous behavior
- Entering an authorized work area
- * Wasting materials
- * Negligence
- * Habitual absence or tardiness
- * Unauthorized absence from assigned work area
- * Interfering with the work performance of another employee
- * Gambling
- * Willful damage to equipment of property
- * Sleeping while on duty
- * Continued failure to perform assigned duties
- * Job abandonment
- * Failure to report to work without good cause
- * Using or selling narcotics or alcohol on University premises
- * Engaging in any activity which interferes in any way with the educational process and functions of the University
- * Willful violations of safety regulations
12. University Smoking Policy
To eliminate the hazards from smoking and from passive smoke, Georgia Southwestern State University is a smoke-free campus. Because of the inability to establish effective barriers between smoking and non-smoking areas, the University prohibits smoking in all buildings on campus.
13. Employee Discipline
Counseling and disciplinary action should be applied as a constructive process initiated by the supervisor to bring the employee's job performance or conduct up to an accepted standard. The type of disciplinary action taken by the supervisor should be relative to the severity of the situation and may vary from a firm inquiry about a slump in performance or a minor infraction of rules, to a formal reprimand, or even to discharge. When mistakes or rule infraction has become chronic, or are very serious, formal disciplinary action is required.
This is the most frequently used form of discipline. It is a warning which also tries to identify the cause of the problem and prevent recurrence of the undesirable behavior. In a private conversation, the supervisor explains to the employee the specific nature of the failure and what is necessary to correct it.
The supervisor should prepare a memorandum of the counseling, documenting all important items or events concerning job performance or behavior considered to be below acceptable standards. Verbal counseling, documented in this manner, should include added notes when problems are resolved. The documentation should be kept on file in the departmental office.
If the employee does not respond to verbal counseling, or is involved in a case of serious infraction, the supervisor shall prepare a follow-up memorandum. This memorandum should refer to any prior verbal and/or written counseling concerning the nature of the problem and should indicate clearly the specific job related areas where improvement is required.
The supervisor should read the reprimand to the employee, being explicit as to what is expected of all employees, and especially the employee being disciplined. State clearly any rules or policies pertaining to the case, explaining that the purpose is to reach a thorough understanding with the employee and provide an opportunity for improvement.
Indicate any imposed time requirement for the employee's improvement.
The employee shall be advised of his/her right to include written comments or an explanation of the incident.
The supervisor and employee must sign the memorandum and forward the original copy of the memorandum and/or follow-up from the employee, to the Human Resources office to be placed in the employee's personnel file. The employee's signature is required to assure that the reprimand has been read and understood and does not necessarily signify agreement with its content.
An employee may be suspended without pay by his/her department head for unsatisfactory performance or personal conduct. The department head will inform the employee of the reasons for the suspension. The employee is not offered a pre-suspension hearing with the next level supervisor but may appeal the suspension decision under the University's grievance procedures (see Georgia Southwestern faculty and staff grievance procedures). If the grievance decision removes the suspension without pay, the employee will recover back pay.
Dismissal of classified employees may be effected by the employee's department head, in consultation with the Director of Human Resources, when the supervisor determines that the employee's performance of duty or personal conduct is unsatisfactory. If the employee has successfully completed his/her 6 month provisional period, he/she shall be informed in writing of the reasons for the action taken and granted a reasonable opportunity (not less than five (5) working days) to respond to the next highest authority prior to the effective date of the action; provided; however, under emergency circumstances when immediate action is necessary, the employee may be forthwith terminated by the department head. The pre-termination response from the employee to the next highest authority is nothing more than a response and is only necessary if the action involves termination. It is very informal and is not an evidentiary hearing. The employee is simply afforded an opportunity to tell the next highest authority his/her side and to show any documents which the employee feels are important (letters, affidavits, etc.).
An employee who has been terminated and has completed the 6-month provisional period, has the right to appeal the decision under the University's formal grievance procedure.
Department Heads, with the approval of the Director of Human Resources, can modify the above schedule of discipline to reflect mitigating circumstances. Modifications can include additional warnings, demotion, or accelerated discipline, as appropriate.