Progressive Discipline

The purpose of this policy is to state Spelman's position on administering equitable and consistent discipline for unsatisfactory conduct in the workplace. The best disciplinary measure is the one that does not have to be enforced and comes from good leadership and fair supervision at all employment levels.


Spelman's own best interest lies in ensuring fair treatment of all employees and in making certain that disciplinary actions are prompt, uniform, and impartial. The major purpose of any disciplinary action is to correct the problem, prevent recurrence, and prepare the employee for satisfactory service in the future.


Although employment with Spelman is based on mutual consent and both the employee and Spelman have the right to terminate employment at will, with or without cause or advance notice, Spelman may use progressive discipline at its discretion.


Disciplinary action may call for any of four steps depending on the severity of the problem and the number of occurrences:


1.      Verbal warning

2.      Written warning

3.      Suspension with or without pay

4.      Termination of employment


There may be circumstances when one or more steps are bypassed.


Progressive discipline means that, with respect to most disciplinary problems, these steps will normally be followed: a first offense may call for a verbal warning; a next offense may be followed by a written warning; another offense may lead to a suspension; and, still another offense may then lead to termination of employment.


Spelman recognizes that there are certain types of employee problems that are serious enough to justify either a suspension, or, in extreme situations, termination of employment, without going through the usual progressive discipline steps.


While it is impossible to list every type of behavior that may be deemed a serious offense, the Employee Conduct and Work Rules policy includes examples of problems that may result in immediate suspension or termination of employment. However, the problems listed are not all necessarily serious offenses, but may be examples of unsatisfactory conduct that will trigger progressive discipline.


By using progressive discipline, we hope that most employee problems can be corrected at an early stage, benefiting both the employee and Spelman.

Policy No.  716  Effective Date:  9/1/2000