University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources

Rule 13 Discipline, Dismissal, and Protection from Retaliation

13.1 Discipline

13.1.1 Supervisors may discipline employees only for just cause (see “Definitions”). Disciplinary action may take the form of oral warning, written warning, suspension without pay, reduction in 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. A supervisor may require an employee to take a leave of absence with pay in order for the supervisor to conduct an investigation that may result in disciplinary action.

13.1.2 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 actions entered into an employee’s Human Resources file shall be removed from departmental files after one calendar year, if no further disciplinary actions have been taken during that year. Records of suspension shall be retained in the official personnel file for eighteen (18) months, with the exception of suspensions for issues related to sexual or racial harassment, which shall be retained in the employee’s official personnel file for five (5) years; and physical abuse or violence which shall remain in the employee’s official personnel file with the totality of the circumstances retained.

13.1.3 Disciplinary action shall become effective when the supervisor communicates the action to the employee. An employee may appeal any disciplinary action in accordance with Rule 14.

13.2 Dismissal

13.2.1 Employees who have passed probation, and temporary employees who have completed more than one calendar year of service in a 50 percent time or more appointment within the same classification, within the same administrative unit (see Rule 6.6), may be dismissed from a position for just cause (see definitions). Just cause is not required for dismissal of any other employee.

13.2.2 A written notification of reasons for dismissal shall be handed to the employee by the supervisor or responsible administrator 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 10 workdays prior to the effective date of dismissal. These 10 days may be given as a leave of absence with pay. In cases of alleged misconduct the employee shall be placed on leave without pay during this period.

13.2.3 The employee may appeal a dismissal during the six-week period in accordance with Rule 14. The appeal shall not affect the effective date of the dismissal.

13.2.4 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 responsible administrator under which the employee is working at the time, or by the Vice President, in conformity with the provisions of those rules relating to notice of dismissal and hearing.

13.2.5 Absence for three consecutive workdays without authorization shall be considered a resignation, in accordance with Rule 10.5.

13.3 Protection from Retaliation

13.3.1 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 the employer, a governmental body or law enforcement official. Employees may report any good faith concerns to the University's confidential reporting service (toll-free 1-866-294-8680 or via a confidential Web link 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 has an objective basis in fact to believe violates state or federal law and the employee informs the employer that the refusal is based on that reason.

13.3.2 University Policy “Reporting and Addressing Misconduct” outlines the procedure to report concerns without fear of retaliation. This policy can be found at: or a copy may be requested from the Office of Human Resources.

13.3.3 Supervisors may not take disciplinary action against an employee who refuses to perform non-work-related tasks on paid work time.