In determining the proper course of corrective action, the supervisor may repeat, modify, or omit a level of disciplinary action based upon the facts of the specific case. For example, in the case of serious misconduct, immediate termination of employment may be warranted. "Serious misconduct" is defined as any action committed by a staff member (while engaged in Duke business or on Duke premises) that includes – but is not limited to – the violation of laws, and/or Duke policies, procedures, and practices; theft; assault; fighting; unethical conduct; safety violations; harassment; possession/concealment of weapons; possession, use, sale, or purchase of illegal drugs or illegal intoxicants; falsification or improper alteration of records (including time cards/records); and/or disclosure or misuse of confidential information.
All corrective actions, counseling discussions, and related facts must be documented – with one copy of all documents provided to the staff member and one filed in the staff member’s department personnel file. The entity/department Human Resources representative or a Staff and Labor Relations representative will assist supervisors in recording appropriate documentation for counseling discussions, written warnings, and terminations.
Duke has designed its corrective-action protocols to identify and correct problems or behaviors that affect the work performance of staff. The proper steps for corrective action must be handled consistently within and across each entity/department/unit and for each problem.
Duke's "corrective action" processes include the following actions:
- Written Warning – This protocol documents discussions between a supervisor and staff member who fails to meet performance or behavioral expectations. Under most circumstances, written warnings occur before more progressive corrective actions are undertaken by supervisors.
- Final Written Warning or Suspension– This plan of corrective action documents discussions between a supervisor and staff member who continues to fail to meet performance or behavioral expectations after receiving a written warning. This action includes disciplinary or investigative suspension that provides for temporarily removing a staff member from the workplace for serious misconduct pending further investigation. Before a staff member is suspended, the supervisor must consult with the entity/department HR representative or a Staff and Labor representative to discuss the circumstances.
- Termination– Terminations occur after written warnings are issued to staff continuing to fail to meet performance or behavioral expectations. Terminations must be reviewed by the entity’s/department’s Human Resources representative and by Staff and Labor Relations prior to a final dismissal.
Duke intends its corrective-action policies and procedures to be progressive. However, depending on the situation, supervisors are permitted to repeat, omit, or employ any corrective action plan out of the progressive sequence.
Duke also reserves the right to effect immediate termination if such action is deemed necessary. All corrective actions are determined on a case-by-case basis by individual entities, departments, and units and by Duke’s Staff and Labor Relations staff.
Staff who are absent for three consecutive, scheduled workdays without contacting an immediate supervisor will be considered as having resigned their position(s) at Duke and will be immediately terminated.