University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources

X. Discipline, Dismissal, and Protection from Retaliation

Section 1. Discipline.

Supervisors may discipline employees only for just cause. Disciplinary action may take the form of oral warning, written warning, suspension without pay, and dismissal. Discipline shall be commensurate with the severity of the infraction and shall take into consideration factors such as, but not limited to, the employee’s length of service, job history, and nature of the problems.

Supervisors must make a record of disciplinary action except for oral warnings, with a copy to the official personnel file and a copy to the employee. Disciplinary action can include the following actions, which do not have to be taken in the following order:

  1. Oral warning - the supervisor must inform the employee that the disciplinary action constitutes an “oral warning”.
  2. Written warning - notification to the employee outlining the specific problem and summarizing the history of previous warnings (if any) and previous disciplinary action (if any). The written warning shall clearly state the following:

    1. the present disciplinary action being taken;
    2. if applicable, a reasonable time frame in which to meet standards of performance established by the department; and
    3. disciplinary action that will be taken if employee fails to meet and maintain said standards of performance established by the department.

Disciplinary action shall become effective when the supervisor communicates the action to the employee. An employee may appeal disciplinary action in accordance with the grievance procedure provisions.

Section 2. Dismissal.

An employee, who has passed probation, may be dismissed from a position for just cause. A written notification of reasons for dismissal shall be handed to the employee by the supervisor or department head, or sent by registered mail to the employee’s last known address with return receipt requested. A copy of this notification shall be placed in the employee’s official personnel file. The statement shall allow ten work days prior to the effective date of dismissal. In cases of misconduct the employee shall be placed on leave without pay during this period.

The employee may appeal a dismissal during the ten work day period in accordance with the provisions of the grievance procedure. The appeal shall not affect the effective date of dismissal.

An employee who willfully practices or has attempted to practice any deception or fraud concerning the employee’s eligibility for appointment may, upon discovery and proof thereof, be dismissed or otherwise appropriately disciplined. Charges alleging such deception or fraud may be initiated by the head of the department in which the employee is working at the time, or by Personnel, in conformity with the provisions of those provisions relating to notice of dismissal and hearing.

Absence for three consecutive work days without authorization shall be considered a resignation.

Section 3. Protection from Retaliation.

Supervisors may not take disciplinary action against an employee who, in good faith, reports a violation of any federal or state law or regulation to a governmental body or law enforcement official. Disciplinary action may not be taken against an employee who is requested by a public agency to participate in an investigation, hearing or inquiry as well as an employee who refuses to participate in any activity that the employee, in good faith, believes violates state or federal law.