10.10 – Staff Disciplinary Action/Involuntary Termination

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Scope: NMSU System

Source: ARP Chapter 10 | HR - Discipline and Dispute Resolution

Rule Administrator:

Last Updated: 07/29/2009

Related

Cross-Reference:

See 2013 CBA Article 23, Section 1, 2 and 3

See also:

ARP 10.20 – Staff Grievances/ Disciplinary Appeals



Revision History:

2017 Recompilation, formerly Rule 8.30
07/29/2009 Amendment adoption ratified by Board of Regents
09/09/2008 Amendment approved by Administrative Council

 

A. Inability to Perform Essential Job Functions


A supervisor may, after having obtained the approval of the appropriate dean/vice president and the Office of Human Resource Services, require an employee to be examined by a medical doctor (or other health provider) for the purpose of determining the employee’s ability to perform essential job functions. The cost of the examination will be borne by the university. An employee may be terminated if unable to perform the essential job functions of a position.

 

B. Absence Without Authorization


A staff employee who is absent from work without proper authorization or notification for a period of 1 working day or if less than 1 working day for more than one occurrence, may be terminated. Such action will be considered as just cause for termination and processed as an involuntary termination. If subsequent investigation and information reveals extenuating circumstances, the employee may use annual leave, sick leave, or leave without pay for the days absent and may be subject to other disciplinary action.

 

C. Disciplinary Action (Non-Probationary Regular Employees)


The supervisor may request action appropriate to the nature and severity of the offense or unacceptable performance and has the following options available. Items #2, #3, and #4 require prior approval from the Office of Human Resource Services.

  1. Oral Reprimand or Warning: Supervisor prepares a memorandum of record for departmental file.
  2. Written Reprimand, Warning, or Notification of Unacceptable Performance: Supervisor prepares a memorandum to the employee, obtains approval from the Office of Human Resource Services, and forwards a copy to the Office of Human Resource Services for inclusion in the employee’s file.
  3. Suspension or Demotion: (See Section G below, Just Cause) Suspension of exempt employees will be for a minimum of 1 working day within a work week.
  4. Involuntary Termination: (See Section G below, Just Cause).

 

D. Immediate (Temporary) Removal


The appointing authority may, with approval of the appropriate dean or vice president, and Office of Human Resource Services, immediately remove and place an employee on administrative leave with pay. This action may be taken when it is in the best interest of the university or it is necessary to remove an employee from the work site. Requests to place an employee on involuntary leave without pay must be submitted to the Office of Human Resource Services.

 

E. Termination of Involuntary (Probationary, Temporary and Emergency Hires)


Probationary, temporary, occasional and emergency hire employees may be terminated without cause by providing at least 24 hours notice. The termination of any such employee requires the prior approval of the appropriate dean or vice president and assistant vice president for human resource services. Probationary, temporary, occasional, or emergency hire employees have no entitlement or expectation to continued employment during or beyond the probationary or appointment period.

 

F. Termination – Demotion and Suspension (Involuntary) of (Non-Probationary Regular Employees)


A supervisor may, after obtaining prior approval of the appropriate dean or vice president and the assistant vice president for human resource services, terminate, demote, or suspend an employee for just cause. All such actions will be submitted to the Office of Human Resource Services for review and prior approval. Normally, exempt employees will be given at least 10 working day’s notification of the proposed action. Nonexempt employees will receive at least 5 working days. However, the supervisor, with prior approval of the cognizant dean or vice president, and Office of Human Resource Services, may immediately remove and place an employee on administrative leave with pay during the notification period. (See Section D above, Immediate (Temporary) Removal) After obtaining the necessary approvals, the supervisor may issue a notice of proposed disciplinary action. The notification will contain the following:

  1. The type of action being proposed.
  2. The specific acts resulting in the proposed action.
  3. The effective date of the proposed action.
  4. A summary of the information used in support of the proposed action.
  5. A statement that the employee may respond to the action and allegations in writing or request a review hearing within 2 working days of receipt of the notice of proposed action.
  6. A statement that if the employee does not respond to the proposed notice or request a review hearing, the proposed action will become final and effective on the proposed date.
  7. A statement that a post-action grievance may be filed with the Office of Institutional Equity/OIE and Employee Management Services Office within 15 working days of receipt of the proposed notice (if the employee does not chose to respond to the notice or request a review hearing) or within 15 working days of receipt of the notice of final determination.

Should an employee respond in writing to the proposed notice and not request a review hearing, the supervisor will consider the employee’s response and issue a final determination, after consultation with the Office of Human Resource Services. Should an employee request a review hearing, the immediate supervisor (or designee) of the individual issuing the proposed notice, and a representative of the Office of Human Resource Services, will meet with the employee within 2 working days of the employee’s request. The employee may bring a representative to the hearing. If the representative is an attorney, the employee must so inform the human resources representative to allow the university time to arrange for its general counsel to be present at the hearing. The university reserves the right to have the general counsel present at any and all hearings. A final determination will be issued by the immediate supervisor (or designee) of the individual issuing the proposed notice, after consultation with the Office of Human Resource Services. Time limits specified may be changed should requests be made and/or circumstances warrant a revision.

 

G. Just Cause (Non-Probationary Regular Employees)


Employees may be terminated, demoted, or suspended for just cause which may be generally described as any conduct, action, or inaction, arising from, connected with, or impacting on the employee’s work, whether on or off duty, that is inconsistent with the employee’s obligations to the employer; or conduct reflecting a disregard of the employer’s interests, policies or procedures. Just cause includes, but is not limited to, inefficiency, unacceptable performance, incompetence, misconduct, negligence, insubordination, or conviction of a felony or misdemeanor under the provisions of the Criminal Offender Employment Act (Section 28-2-1, et seq., NMSA 1978). Although impossible to cite an all-inclusive list of actions which constitute just cause, examples include but are not limited to:

  1. Falsification of documents.
  2. Threatening, assaulting, or abusive behavior towards a supervisor, student, employee, guest or customer of the university.
  3. Sexual harassment of an employee, student, guest or customer of the university on or off campus which may explicitly or implicitly affect an employee’s performance or unreasonably interferes with a person’s employment or academic endeavors.
  4. Jeopardizing the safety or health of an employee (including one’s self), student, guest or customer of the university.
  5. Dishonesty or intentional fabrication of events.
  6. Negligent, incompetent, inefficient or unacceptable performance of duties.
  7. Willful disregard of reasonable directives or policies or a defiant attitude of noncompliance toward regulations, directives or policies applicable to an employee.
  8. Conduct that interferes with the efficient operation of the university.
  9. Inability or unwillingness to perform the duties required of a position.
  10. Possession or use of alcohol or illicit drugs, reporting to work under their influence, or being under their influence while on the job.
  11. Possession of drug paraphernalia or stolen property.
  12. Conviction or admission of a felony or certain misdemeanors.
  13. Careless, negligent, improper, unauthorized, or malicious use of, or theft of, property, equipment, or funds.
  14. Abuse of privileges.
  15. Failure to report for work or to timely report justifiable reason for absence to the department head or immediate supervisor.
  16. Repeated tardiness or poor attendance.
  17. Misconduct which adversely affects the interest or reputation of the university or its employees.
  18. Any repetition of offenses which resulted in a reprimand, warning, demotion, notification of unacceptable performance or suspension.
  19. Job abandonment.