Positive Corrective Action

Policy no. III-3
Effective Date: 01/01/2005
Scope: Senior staff and Staff employees with more than three months' service and have successfully fulfilled the orientation period
Exclusions: Faculty, Executive staff, Staff employees in the orientation period and Student employees
"Acts of misconduct" refer to illegal acts or acts that are not in keeping with Case Western Reserve University standards of conduct. 
"Excessive absenteeism" refers to repeated occurrences (more than six occurrences in six months) of unscheduled absences and/or tardiness that are unrelated to authorized time off.

Policy Statement

The university intends to give employees reasonable opportunity to improve their performance whenever productivity, quality, efficiency, or behavior is below an acceptable level. When performance falls below an acceptable level, corrective action may be imposed, including: verbal warning, written warning, suspension, or termination.

The focus of this progressive procedure is to promote employee job success by identifying the unacceptable performance and the cause(s) of the unacceptable performance, and agreeing on method(s) for improving employee performance to an acceptable level. In determining which type of corrective action is appropriate, the seriousness of the infraction (i.e. unacceptable behavior, attendance related issues, or misconduct), the past performance record and the circumstances surrounding the matter will be taken into consideration. Since the corrective action is intended to be action- oriented, corrective action of verbal warning, written warning, or suspension will usually include scheduled review dates to monitor the employee's progress toward acceptable performance. This progressive procedure does not preclude the university from terminating an employee at any time, without any previous corrective action, if circumstances warrant. The decision to use or not to use any one of the corrective actions is solely within the discretion of the university. Nothing in this policy is intended to modify the at-will nature of employment, which means that the university may terminate the employment relationship at any time.

Positive corrective action options include but are not limited to:

  • Verbal warning to clarify expectations of acceptable performance, development of an action plan for improvement, and advising of consequences if the performance problem is not corrected

  • Written Warning which states that performance or conduct is unacceptable, development of an action plan for improvement, and a written warning of termination that states that continuation of any unacceptable performance for the same or different reason may result in termination.

  • Suspension: Time off without pay as part of a written warning of termination or for situations requiring time for the university to conduct an investigation into an identified performance problem.

  • Discharge: Termination of employment with or without notice.

Note: Corrective action is not always a continuous process and can be imposed at any step. Supervisors may use one or more corrective actions at their discretion.

Although there is no way to identify every possible type of unacceptable performance or misconduct that may result in corrective action, the following situations provide examples of events that may result in corrective action, up to and including termination. This is a non-exclusive list of performance issues that may result in corrective action. The university may impose corrective action for other unacceptable performance or misconduct issues.

  • Failure to properly or completely perform work tasks
  • Excessive absenteeism
  • Unreported absences
  • Engaging in acts of dishonesty
  • Insubordination
  • Misuse of work time
  • Failure to record or improper recording of time (without apparent intent to defraud)
  • Theft or fraud
  • Failure to comply with university policies and rules
  • Endangering life or property
  • Harassment
  • Sexual harassment
  • Disclosure or misuse of confidential information
  • Misrepresentation or misuse of authority
  • Violation of Computing Ethics Policy
  • Reporting to or engaging in university related work while under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol
  • Possession or sale of illegal drugs on Case Western Reserve University property
  • Failure to disclose conflicts of interest
  • Unprofessional behavior
  • Disruptive behavior
  • Failure to maintain professional interpersonal relationships with co-workers, supervisors, customers, or any member of the university community
  • Falsification of any university record
  • Sleeping on the job
  • Disregard of authorized work request
  • Failure to stay at assigned work location
  • Possession of a weapon, including but not limited to firearms, ammunition, or any other instrument, device, or substance designed, intended or used to inflict harm upon persons or property at work or while on university property.

Supervisors are responsible for recognizing that the timely application of any form of corrective action is necessary to prevent larger problems. Therefore, supervisors should involve the employee and the Employee Relations Office in a timely manner when utilizing corrective action. If situations warrant, a supervisor may suspend employees immediately but must contact the Employee Relations Office in handling the suspension review and possible termination.

Policy Administration: Responsibility of supervisor with Employee Relations Office.

References: Positive Corrective Action Procedure (III-3a), Termination of Employment Policy (II-12), Performance Management Policy (III-2), Position Requirements Policy (II-8)