University of Washington Policy Directory

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*Formerly part of the University Handbook
Administrative Policy Statement

Corrective Action Policy for Permanent Classified Non-Union Staff Covered by State Department of Personnel Rules

(Approved by the Executive Vice President by authority of Administrative Order No. 9)

1.  Policy

The purpose of this policy is to define the progressive corrective action process, as authorized by WAC 357-40-015, that is used when an employee fails to meet job performance and/or behavior requirements, except in cases where the University determines that job performance is so deficient or behavior is so disruptive or unacceptable as to warrant immediate termination of employment whether or not prior corrective action has occurred.

2.  Job Performance and Behavior

The term "job performance" includes the performance of assigned duties and adherence to all departmental and University policies and procedures. The term "behavior" means an individual's general conduct, and includes, but is not limited to, how an individual interacts with others.

3.  Progressive Corrective Action and Dismissal

Progressive corrective action promotes employee job success by:

  #1 Identifying job performance or behavior that does not meet requirements;

  #2 Ensuring that the standards for successful performance are clear; and

  #3 Defining methods or practices that will help the employee achieve successful performance.

The process uses constructive, structured communication rather than punitive measures to help the employee achieve successful job performance.

The progressive corrective action process has three steps:

  • Informal counseling;
  • Formal counseling; and
  • Final counseling.

The University determines which step to implement based on the seriousness of the performance problem(s), the employee's overall job performance record, and the employee's corrective action history. The University will make clear when formal or final counseling is being conducted.

  A. Informal Counseling

Informal counseling is discussion or counseling between employee and immediate supervisor. Informal counseling or coaching consists of job performance feedback, and may be verbal or written. The supervisor may follow-up in writing with a simple action plan if the supervisor determines that an action plan would be helpful.

  B. Formal Counseling

Formal counseling is structured job performance feedback that includes the development of a written action plan. The action plan states performance and/or behavioral objectives, documents performance and/or behavioral problems, suggests methods for remedying the specified problems and the timeframe during which improvement must take place. The employee may suggest modifications to the action plan that the employee believes will help his or her performance and/or behavioral expectations. Formal counseling may include administrative personnel other than the employee's immediate supervisor. The employee will receive reasonable notice when a formal counseling session is to take place, and be informed if other people besides the employee's supervisor will attend.

  C. Final Counseling

Final counseling takes place when performance or behavioral problems are serious or previous efforts at correcting such problems have not been successful. Final counseling means that if the employee's job performance and/or behavior remain unsatisfactory, the employee will be dismissed. The employee will receive reasonable notice when a final counseling session is to take place, and the employee will be informed if other people besides the employee's supervisor will attend.

Final counseling includes preparation of an action plan if one has not been previously prepared, and/or review or revision of a corrective action plan that is in place. Final counseling may include a paid "decision making" day away from the work site. If the employer decides to provide a decision making day, the employee will be given a list of expectations and problem statements prior to the decision making day. The purpose of the decision making day is for the employee to consider the job requirements that have been outlined and consequences of failure to meet the performance standards.

  D. Dismissal

Dismissal occurs when performance and/or behavioral deficiencies are so severe or unacceptable that progressive corrective action is not appropriate, or after an employee's performance and/or behavior remains deficient following corrective action.

Before an employee is dismissed, a predetermination meeting will be scheduled to give the employee an opportunity to respond to the dismissal recommendation. The employee will have the right to bring a representative of his or her choice to the predetermination meeting.

4.  Additional Information

Contact the appropriate Human Resources Service Team Member listed on the Human Resources Service Team Assignments web page.

January 19, 2006.