All employees of the University are also employees of the State of Missouri. Employees are expected to conduct themselves in a manner which reflects credit both on the University and on the State. Employment is at the will of the University. Performance, work habits, conduct, or demeanor that fails to maintain standards applicable to an employee of the University will subject the employee to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal, as determined appropriate by the University.
The University, as a matter of policy, does not dictate a particular dress code. Employees are expected to practice good personal hygiene and use good judgment in their choice of clothing and personal grooming. Departments may specify additional reasonable requirements appropriate for their operation. Supervisors will inform employees of any uniform dress code that may be required of the position. In addition, a personal interest should be taken to ensure that work areas are kept neat and orderly. Employees should be mindful that the University is a public institution and personal and work area appearance is a reflection on the University.
The University expects all employees to assume diligent responsibility for their attendance and promptness. Recognizing, however, that illnesses and injuries may occur, the University has established sick leave and long-term disability benefit plans to compensate full-time regular employees for certain time lost for legitimate medical reasons. (See Chapter 7 of this handbook for information regarding leave benefits.)
Employees must notify their supervisor or other designated department personnel, in advance, (but no later than 30 minutes after their starting time), of their inability to report for work as scheduled. Employees in custodial, grounds, and mechanical maintenance positions are required to notify their supervisor or other designated personnel in the department no later than 30 minutes before the start of their regular work schedule. In providing notification, employees should give a reason for their absence and an indication of when they will return to work.
Notification is the procedure for reporting an absence and does not serve as the supervisor's approval of the absence. Failure to properly notify the University may result in an unexcused absence. Absenteeism that is unexcused or excessive in the judgment of the University is grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.
Employees must notify their supervisor if they anticipate being late to work. Tardiness that is unexcused or excessive in the judgment of the University is grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. Employees must obtain prior permission from the supervisor in order to leave work early.
University employees are expected to meet their financial obligations in a timely manner. If an employee's wages and/or other amounts due from the University are seized by a court order of Writ of Sequestration (garnishment), the University is required to comply with such an order. Governmental liens, such as those resulting from claims for unpaid taxes, child support, bankruptcy claims and other personal debt, also must be honored.
When the University's Payroll Office receives such a court order or lien, it must pay the appropriate amount to the clerk of the court or to the governmental agency. Any defenses the employee wishes to make must be made to the court or the governmental agency and not to the University.
Employees whose work performance does not meet required standards or who violate rules, regulations or policies of the University may be disciplined according to the seriousness or repetition of the violation. While formal disciplinary steps usually are not required for dismissal of probationary or part-time employees, supervisors and department heads must contact the Office of Human Resources regarding appropriate dismissal procedures for all employees including probationary or part-time employees before taking such action.
Certain actions can cause employees to be disciplined, including but not limited to the following:
The University, at its discretion, may determine that disciplinary action less than dismissal may be appropriate in some circumstances. Any of the following disciplinary actions may be imposed by the University depending upon the University's judgment of the necessary action to address employee conduct in violation of appropriate standards.
A first warning brings the problem to the attention of the employee, emphasizes the seriousness of the situation, and presents suggestions or instructions to resolve or correct the problem.
A written reprimand documents the occurrence and the severity and usually warns that further violations will result in suspension without pay or termination. It may be a final opportunity to improve.
A suspension without pay may be used to impress upon the employee that a behavior or work performance level must be changed or dismissal will be inevitable. Suspension results in the loss of pay for a specified period of time (usually three days).
A disciplinary suspension may be used in cases when the infraction is of such seriousness (theft, fighting, insubordination or similar infraction) that it may warrant dismissal pending review of the facts. Disciplinary suspension should be followed immediately by a thorough investigation of the situation to determine the appropriate action to be taken.
A serious offense and repeated disciplinary problems will require dismissal. While employment may be terminated at any time without cause, examples of conduct that can result in dismissal for a single incident are dishonesty, insubordination, immoral conduct, theft, use of drugs or alcohol, or other serious conduct as outlined in the University's disciplinary guidelines (see Section 9.4).
Depending on the severity of the offense, other forms of disciplinary action may include:
An employee who constantly fails to perform the duties of his/her job according to established standards may be transferred to another position for which he/she is qualified. See Section 4.3.5 of this handbook for transfer procedures.
An employee who violates University rules, regulations, or policies may be subject to disciplinary action in the form of a reduction in compensation without a change in salary grade.
If an employee has unsatisfactory behavior or job performance, the employee may not be eligible for an annual salary increase. See Section 4.3.2.
An employee may be demoted to a lower salary grade for poor performance or conduct violations.
All disciplinary actions administered by the University must be documented in writing. With the exception of first warnings, a copy of the report of disciplinary action must be given to the employee involved and a copy shall also be included as a permanent part of the employee's personnel file.
Employees represented by the bargaining unit and covered under the Memorandum of Agreement between the University and The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and/or The International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local Union 245 have the right to request the presence of the union steward at a disciplinary meeting in which the employee is to be issued any written discipline.
If the disciplinary action take ins termination of employment, an employee will be provided a written notice stating the reason(s) for the proposed termination and afforded an opportunity to respond to the proposed action prior to the termination.
It is the policy of the University to be fair and impartial in all its relations with employees and to recognize the dignity of the individual. Fairness and consistency require that certain general principles of administering discipline be followed by all supervisors. Representatives in the Office of Human Resources are available to discuss the appropriate course of action in a particular case. Disciplinary action involving transfer, compensation reduction, withholding salary increases, demotion, suspension or dismissal are accomplished upon the recommendation of the department head, appropriate vice president, and with the approval of the Director of Human Resources.
By approval of this Employee Handbook, discretion in the administration of discipline is vested by the Board of Governors in the University Administration, and subject to review by the Board of Governors in certain circumstances, as authorized through the grievance procedure. An employee who feels he/she has been dealt with unfairly regarding disciplinary action is referred to the Grievance Procedure (see Chapter 10 of this handbook).