2.02 Corrective Action

Policy No. 2.02

POLICY: This policy is designed to define Berklee’s corrective action philosophy and process. Corrective action is a constructive, non-punitive, formal process used to identify and correct unsatisfactory work performance, behaviors, and/or actions that negatively affect an employee and/or are detrimental to Berklee’s mission, vision, and values. Corrective action must be administered in a fair, equitable, and consistent manner without regard to race, gender, color, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, religion, national origin, ancestry, veteran’s status, genetic information, pregnancy, Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) use, or union status.

Corrective Action Protocols

In determining the proper course of corrective action, the specific facts of each case will be evaluated. Berklee reserves the right to take any action it deems necessary to address unsatisfactory performance or misconduct and is not required to follow any particular order of corrective action. Steps of the corrective action process may be omitted or repeated depending on the frequency, severity, and/or nature of the conduct. In general, however, Berklee’s corrective action process includes, but is not necessarily limited to, the following:

Verbal Warning: The manager shall meet with the staff member and provide feedback related to unsatisfactory performance or misconduct. During this meeting, specific behavior that is unacceptable shall be identified and clear, measurable expectations should be communicated to the staff member along with a timetable for achieving improvement and date(s) for follow-up conversations. The manager must clearly articulate that the meeting serves as a verbal warning and document the occurrence by keeping a record of the date the verbal warning was administered and the specific purpose for the warning. Generally, a staff member will be provided with a reasonable period of time in which to show improvement; however, this period may be shortened if there are no signs of improvement. Following expiration of the timetable set for improvement, the manager should conduct a follow-up meeting with the staff member and relay whether or not the improvement is sufficient. Human Resources is available to provide consultation and guidance regarding verbal warning procedures.

Written Warning: Prior to issuing a written warning to a staff member, managers must consult with Human Resources. Typically, though not always, a written warning is the next step in the corrective action process following a documented verbal warning. Written warnings should be written in a corrective action letter and the content of that letter shall include:

  1. specific performance deficiencies or misconduct that resulted in the written warning;
  2. description of how the poor performance or misconduct impacts the operations of the department or Berklee;
  3. relevant policies or procedures; 

  4. if applicable, the date that verbal warning was administered;
  5. a timetable for improving and date(s) for follow-up communication;

  6. next steps in the corrective action process if deficiencies are not corrected
; and
  7. the signature of the manager and staff member (the staff member will be asked to sign the corrective action letter as an acknowledgement of receipt).

Managers should review the written warning with the staff member at the time it is administered. The manager should give the staff member the original warning, keep a copy, and forward a copy to Human Resources for the staff member’s personnel file.

Upon receipt of a written warning, the staff member is permitted to 1) request a meeting with Human Resources and/or the appropriate department leadership to discuss the contents of the corrective action, and/or 2) attach a written response to the corrective action letter to be filed in his/her personnel file. If a staff member chooses to write a response to the corrective action, he/she must submit that response to his/her supervisor and Human Resources within 14 calendar days following receipt of the corrective action warning. Any responses submitted will be carefully reviewed by the manager and Human Resources.

Final Written Warning: Typically, though not always, the final written warning is the third step in the corrective action process. Prior to issuing a final written warning, managers must consult with Human Resources. Final written warnings should be written in the form of a corrective action letter and the content shall include:

  1. specific performance deficiencies or misconduct that resulted in the final written warning;
  2. a description of how the poor performance or misconduct impacts the operations of the department or Berklee;
  3. relevant policies or procedures;
  4. if applicable, the date a written warning was administered;
  5. a timetable for improving and date(s) for follow-up communication;

  6. possible next steps in the corrective action process if deficiencies are not corrected; and
  7. the signature of the manager (the staff member will be asked to sign the corrective action letter as an acknowledgement of receipt).

Managers should review the final written warning with the staff member at the time it is administered. The manager should give the staff member the original warning, keep a copy, and forward a copy to Human Resources for the staff member’s personnel file.

Upon receipt of a final written warning, the staff member is permitted to 1) request a meeting with Human Resources or the appropriate department leadership to discuss the contents of the corrective action, and/or 2) attach a written response to the corrective action letter to be filed in his/her personnel file. If a staff member chooses to write a response to the corrective action, he/she must submit that response to his/her supervisor and Human Resources within 14 calendar days following receipt of the corrective action. Any responses submitted will be carefully reviewed by the manager and Human Resources.

Note: Generally, if more than six months have elapsed since a staff member received corrective action, the next infraction may result in the last step of the corrective action process being repeated; however, in cases that involve repetitive actions or more serious violations of policy, Berklee reserves the right to accelerate the process. Any acceleration in the corrective action process must first be reviewed with a member of Human Resources.

Termination: Termination will be the final step in the corrective action process; however, when warranted, Berklee reserves the right to terminate a staff member without any prior corrective action. All terminations must be approved by Human Resources in advance.

Documentation: All corrective action must be documented. Upon issuing a written warning, final written warning, or termination, managers must provide such documentation to the staff member and a copy to Human Resources for the staff member’s personnel file. The human resources partner will assist managers in recording appropriate documentation for corrective action.

Suspension without Pay: Certain occurrences may warrant a suspension from work without pay. A suspension without pay may occur at any stage of the corrective action process and will depend on the nature and severity of the violation. Prior to suspending a staff member, the decision must be reviewed with Human Resources.

Administrative Leave: Pending investigation and at the discretion of Human Resources, staff members may be placed on a paid or unpaid leave.

Promotion and Transfer Prerequisites: Staff members must not receive written corrective action within the six months preceding a promotion or transfer.

Berklee reserves the right to amend, suspend, or cancel this policy at any time, with or without notice. Employees who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement will be governed by the terms and conditions of the current contract.

 

December 2018