Progressive Discipline

Mississippi State University utilizes a program called Positive Direction as our progressive disciplinary system.  Progressive discipline is a tool to help supervisors evaluate and respond to employee performance problems and workplace issues in a fair and effective manner. It does not stand alone, nor does it constitute legal advice regarding specific incidents.

Managers should work collaboratively with their Human Resources Generalist when responding to employee conduct and work performance issues.  The University has created the Work Violations and Suggested Responses Chart, which aligns with University Policy, HRM 60.401, Guidelines for Employee Conduct. This chart contains suggested guidelines for evaluating and responding to employee conduct and work performance issues. It is not all-inclusive.

This guide should be used in determining the appropriate action for cases involving regular, non-contract employees.  Faculty and other contract personnel are governed by conditions of their contracts, and other University disciplinary provisions may apply.

You should contact your Human Resources Business Partner at the beginning of an employee conduct or work performance issue.  Your Human Resources Business Partner can help you assess the situation and identify the appropriate response.  Consideration should always be given to the nature of the incident, the frequency of the violation, and the employee's overall work record before disciplinary action is taken. A helpful resource for evaluating performance and work performance issues is available here.  Progressive disciplinary actions may be taken based on continuous violations of the same or related work standards.

The University reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to utilize forms of discipline less severe than involuntary separation in differing circumstances in order to correct employees' performance problems or unacceptable behavior.

Although the use of progressive discipline is encouraged, no formal order or system is required. The University may separate employees from employment at any time. Where employees are subject to professional and/or state regulations or licensure, additional sanctions may apply.

Before initiating an oral or written reprimand, placing an employee on disciplinary suspension, or initiating involuntary separation, you must contact your Human Resources Business Partner.



Instructions: These forms are to be used as a guideline to draft the actual memo to the employee documenting the disciplinary discussion. Fill in and delete items in order to make this memo accurately reflect the problem, and the history of the problem. Feel free to contact your Human Resources Generalist for guidance.