Empowering a Community of Excellence

University Support Staff

Initiating Disciplinary Actions

Managers and supervisors are responsible for handling progressive disciplinary actions for USS employees. The procedures and forms outlined below should be used by supervisors throughout the progressive disciplinary process.

For disciplinary action guidance related to 1290PE employees, please visit 1290PE Covered Employees.

A documented verbal warning is considered an optional informal disciplinary step and requires the use of a documented verbal counseling form in the Performance Management System, a copy of which must be presented to the employee.  To begin the process of completing a documented verbal counseling, submit a request to Human Resource Management.

Step 1: Documented Verbal Counseling

A documented verbal counseling precedes formal disciplinary action and serves to outline expectations and notify the employee of possible consequences if the problems/behaviors detailed in the documented verbal counseling reoccur.  Depending on the circumstances, an employee may receive formal discipline without prior counseling, such as a documented verbal counseling.  When a documented verbal counseling occurs, the supervisor should document this action using a documented verbal counseling form in the Performance Management System.  To begin the process of completing an Employee Counseling, submit a request to Human Resource Management.

Once the supervisor has worked with Human Resource Management to obtain the proper form and finalize the counseling, the supervisor should meet with the employee to discuss the counseling and ensure the employee receives a copy.

Step 2: Written Reprimand

A Written Reprimand is generally the first step in the progressive formal discipline process for USS employees and typically involves the supervisor alerting the employee of misconduct.  The supervisor should document this action using an Employee Counseling form in the Performance Management System.  To begin the process of completing an Employee Counseling, submit a request to Human Resource Management.

Once the supervisor has worked with Human Resource Management to obtain the proper form and finalize the counseling, the supervisor should meet with the employee to discuss the counseling and ensure the employee receives a copy.

Step 3: Request for Disciplinary Action

If the employee fails to show improvement, the department should contact Human Resource Management to determine what additional disciplinary actions should be taken, including the possibility of suspension, demotion, or dismissal.  The supervisor should report the reason for recommending disciplinary action by using the Request for Disciplinary Action form. The supervisor should complete and submit the form to their department leader (dean, director, or chairperson) for review and approval. Once approved, the department should:

  • Submit a copy of the form to Human Resource Management by emailing it to hrdept@ku.edu
  • Keep a copy of the form for the department’s records

Employee Notifications

Human Resource Management issues proposed and final disciplinary notification letters for suspension, demotion, and dismissal.  If disciplinary action is taken for a regular status employee, the final letter also notifies the employee of their ability and method to appeal to the University’s Disciplinary Action Hearing Board.  There is no appeal process for probationary employees.

Employee Appeals

University Support Staff members with regular status are offered the right to appeal a disciplinary action of suspension, demotion, or dismissal. To learn more about the appeal process, hearing board, and procedures, please review Disciplinary Action Hearing Board for University Support Staff Guidelines ».

Please note that USS employees who are terminated during their probationary period of employment are not eligible to exercise a right to appeal.  Please refer to University Policy on Probationary Periods for University Support Staff and Unclassified Professional Staff » for more information about the terms and conditions related to probationary employment.


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