Disciplinary Processes

For SHRA Employees, UNC Charlotte follows the Disciplinary Action Policy in the State Human Personnel Manual. This a guide with which to address and correct inadequate job performance and unacceptable personal conduct of employees subject to the provisions of the State Human Resources Act (SHRA). For more information for Faculty, visit the Academic Personnel Procedures Handbook Section VII.

While this policy by law applies to employees who have attained career status (i.e. State employees who are in permanent position appointments and have been continuously employed by the State of North Carolina in a position subject to the State Human Resources Act for the immediate 12 preceding months), the University of North Carolina at Charlotte will apply the same policy for "non-career status" employees as well in an effort to promote uniformity and consistency in its handling of matters involving discipline.

1. Any disciplinary action taken in accordance with this policy must be for just cause under one of the three following bases:

  1. unsatisfactory job performance
  2. unacceptable personal conduct
  3. gross inefficient job performance

2. To ensure that disciplinary action, suspension and dismissal are administered in as near a uniform and consistent manner as possible by all campus departments and offices, the following guidelines apply at UNC Charlotte:

The revised State Human Resources Commission policy now requires when addressing unsatisfactory job performance issues as referenced in the Performance Management policy, manager/supervisor shall provide feedback to the employee regarding the need for him/her to improve his/her performance. If performance does not improve following the feedback provided by the manager/supervisor, a Documented Counseling Session (DCS) shall be issued prior to beginning disciplinary actions for most performance issues. Please refer to Section 7 - Page 5 of the STATE HUMAN RESOUCES MANUAL regarding the required content information for all written warnings.

A final content item not listed in this section, but is a required practice of the University, is the advising of disciplined employees of the availability of the University’s Employee Assistance Program as a source of assistance for those whose performance or conduct may be impacted by issues of a personal nature.

3. Written Warnings

Written warnings must be prepared and reviewed with the Employee Relations Manager prior to delivery to the employee. The warning will be reviewed to ensure compliance with the disciplinary policy before authorizing final preparation and delivery by the supervisor to the employee. A copy of the finalized warning must be provided to the Employee Relations Manager concurrent with delivery of the warning to the employee.

All written warnings have an active life of 18 months from the date of issuance to the disciplined employee unless subsequent disciplinary action is issued.  The oldest active disciplinary action(s) in the file will take on the life span of the most recent disciplinary action, not to exceed an additional 18 months (that is, the action cannot remain active for more than 36 months).  A written warning may be made inactive at any time deemed appropriate by the disciplined employee's supervisor and department head or evidenced by a summary performance rating at an acceptable level or better and satisfactory performance in the area cited in the disciplinary action.

4. Supervisors recommending dismissal

  • Of a probationary employee must forward the written recommendation, including specific reasons for the dismissal, through the appropriate Department Chair or Director to the Employee Relations Manager. Following a compliance review of the recommendation, the employee will be given written notice of dismissal from the Director of Human Resources or the recommendation will be returned for non-compliance.
  • Of a career status employee employee must forward the written recommendation to include specific reasons for the dismissal, through the appropriate Department Chair or Director to the Employee Relations Manager. Recommendations based on job performance must include copies of all written warnings and a statement of all other forms of disciplinary action, which may have been taken by the supervisor during the period under review to support the termination request. Following a compliance review of the recommendation, a pre-disciplinary conference will be scheduled and conducted by the Employee Relations Manager with the employee and the supervisor or management designee or the recommendation will be returned for non-compliance. If, at the end of the pre-disciplinary conference, the dismissal is determined to be justified, the employee will be given written notice of dismissal by the Director of Human Resources.

5. Supervisors recommending disciplinary suspension without pay

Supervisors recommending a disciplinary suspension without pay action must forward the written recommendation to include specific reasons for the suspension to the Employee Relations Manager.

Recommendations based on job performance must include copies of all written warnings issued to the employee and/or other forms of disciplinary action, which may have been taken by the supervisor during the period under review to support the suspension without pay request. Unlike job performance, recommendations based on unacceptable personal conduct or grossly inefficient job performance do not require prior disciplinary action to be taken. Following a compliance review of the recommendation, a pre-suspension conference will be scheduled and conducted by the Employee Relations Manager with the employee and the supervisor or management designee or the recommendation will be returned for non-compliance. If, at the end of the pre-suspension conference, the suspension is determined to be justified, the employee will be given written notice of suspension by the Director of Human Resources.

The minimum and maximum periods for disciplinary suspension without pay are one and two weeks respectively.This is applicable to employees who are both subject to and exempt from the overtime compensation provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

6. Supervisors recommending a disciplinary demotion

Supervisors recommending a disciplinary demotion must forward the written recommendation to include specific reasons for the demotion to the Employee Relations Manager.

Recommendations based on job performance must include copies of all written warnings issued to the employee and/or any other form of disciplinary action which may have been administered the employee during the period under review to support the demotion request.

Recommendations based on unacceptable personal conduct or grossly inefficient job performance do not require the taking of prior disciplinary action. Following a compliance review of the recommendation, a pre-demotion conference will be scheduled and conducted by the Employee Relations Manager with the employee and the supervisor (in extenuating circumstances, supervisor may not be present) or the recommendation will be returned for non-compliance. If, at the end of the pre-demotion conference, the demotion is determined to be justified, the employee will be given written notice of the demotion by the Director of Human Resources.