Conduct and Discipline
Kent State's employee code of conduct expects each employee to:
- Maintain a professional demeanor,
- Respect the dignity and well-being of others,
- Respect and safeguard the rights and properties of others,
- Prohibit discrimination, while respecting the differences in people, ideas, and opinions, and
- Practice personal and professional integrity, and to discourage all forms of dishonesty, deceit, and noncompliance to the code of conduct.
The university recognizes the exercise of the rights of expression, conscience, affiliation and peaceful assemblage. While the university neither permits nor forbids demonstrations off-campus by members of the university community, participants are expected to act in a manner that will conform to all national, state and municipal laws and ordinances. (Policy 3342-4-03)
In the event that demonstrations, marches and non-university affiliated speakers take place on any Kent State campus, there are established policies and operational procedures that must be followed to ensure the orderly conduct of classes and other university operations. (Policy 3342-4-03.1, 3342-4-03.101)
Inappropriate Service of Support Staff Employees
An employee's job responsibilities should relate to the work of the office, the university and/or higher education in general. Employees in a support staff role should not be asked to perform an assignment beyond the scope of their responsibilities. Upon request, HR will assist in the resolution of questions regarding the scope of responsibilities. (Policy 3342-6-20.3)
Solicitation in the Workplace
In order to ensure that employees have the opportunity to perform their jobs free from intrusions, the university has established specific guidelines regarding solicitation and/or distribution of literature within any building on any Kent State campus. An organization, non-employee, or employee of the university wishing to solicit or distribute literature to employees must follow the guidelines set forth in this policy. (Policy 3342-6-20.2)
Employees should be aware that the university does not tolerate certain acts and behaviors which are unproductive and detrimental to the university. Per ORC 124.34, these include, but are not limited to:
- Incompetency, inefficiency, dishonesty,
- Immoral conduct,
- Discourteous treatment of the public,
- Neglect of duty,
- Violation of any Kent State policy or work rule,
- Any other failure of good behavior,
- Any other acts of misfeasance, malfeasance, or nonfeasance in office,
- Conviction of a felony
The progressive disciplinary process is designed to identify and correct problems that may affect classified and unrepresented employees’ work performance or the overall performance of a department. This process provides employees and their supervisors with an opportunity to discuss specific problems, to determine when and how these problems can be corrected and set objectives to correct problems.
Progressive Discipline Action Steps for Classified Employees
Informal Disciplinary Action
- Identify the issue and desired outcome
- Identify corrective steps toward improvement
- Coaching and Counseling
Formal Progressive Disciplinary Action Steps
- Step 1– Verbal warning (must also be documented in writing)
- Step 2 – Written warning
- Step 3 – Suspension
- Step 4 – Discharge
Depending on the nature and severity of the infraction, Steps 1, 2, or 3 may be repeated, skipped or not followed in sequence. Each case is considered on an individual basis. For example, in the case of serious infractions, an employee may be given a written warning or be suspended and/or discharged on the first offense.
As provided in Section 124 of the ORC, the university will afford classified state employees a pre-disciplinary hearing prior to the issuance of a disciplinary suspension of three days or more. Employees should contact the Employee Relations unit of HR (see next section) for more information on the pre-disciplinary hearing.
Employees represented by a bargaining unit should refer to their collective bargaining agreement regarding the grievance process.
The Employee Relations unit of Human Resources exists for the purpose of proactively maintaining and enhancing a positive, constructive and efficient work environment for all supervisors, managers, employees and peers. Employee Relations is available to:
- Provide consultation services to classified and unclassified staff to solve problems and resolve conflict in the workplace;
- Engage in discussions on performance improvement processes and progressive counseling; and
- Oversee the separation process.
If the employee wishes for an issue or concern to remain confidential, they should contact the Staff Ombudsman. The Ombudsman works independently and confidentially to consider all sides of a question and to help bring about a non-adversarial solution.
Kent State affords its employees the right to have assistance from the staff ombudsmen or Employee Relations when attempting to settle a grievance with a supervisor or department head after the informal step. (Policy 3342-6-20.1) Additionally, the university recognizes the employee's right to have additional representation at their grievance procedures. A grievance will be acted upon if the employee submits it in writing within 10 working days of the occurrence or discovery of the complaint or grievance. All represented employees should refer to their collective bargaining agreement regarding the grievance process if it deviates from the practice identified above. Faculty members have other grievance resolution processes available. (Policy 3342-6-14)