Labor and Employee Relations - Helpful Hints

Probationary Employees:
Employees who are on probation have less job security than a permanent employee. During probation an employee is undergoing a period of testing, demonstration or investigation of his qualifications and suitability for regular employment and should be given appropriate feedback by their immediate supervisor during this time. Probationary employees can be terminated during their probationary period if they are not meeting the expected standards of performance, attendance, or conduct.  A disciplinary report or memo are not used.  If the department wants to extend an employee’s probation and their position is covered by a collective bargaining unit, the Union must be notified. 

Progressive Discipline:
Temple University uses progressive discipline in its Rules of Conduct.  It is the process of using increasingly severe steps or measures when an employee fails to correct a problem after being given a reasonable opportunity to do so.

Some guidelines supervisors should consider before disciplining:

  • Thoroughly investigate the situation which includes obtaining the employee’s explanation or response prior to administering discipline.
  • Document the process and results of your investigation.
  • Review the employee’s employment history, including years of service, discipline record, and PDP.
  • Be consistent with the level of discipline given.
  • The goal of discipline should be to correct the unacceptable behavior and improve performance, not to punish the employee.

Absenteeism/Tardiness:
Absenteeism and tardiness negatively impact our ability to effectively provide University services. The Rules of Conduct addresses not meeting the requirements for reporting absences, tardiness, early departures, and unscheduled absences.

Weingarten Rights:
Employees have a  right to union representation if required to attend an investigatory interview that may result in discipline. This is known as Weingarten Rights.  If management denies the employee these rights and continues with the meeting, it is considered an Unfair Labor Practice and violates the law.

If representation is requested, the meeting should be delayed until a union representative arrives.  If the employee has trouble locating a representative, Labor Relations can assist.

Layoff/Bumping:
When performing a layoff in a department, you should first obtain statistical information on the employees within that department to determine if there are any demographic trends/disparate impact to those selected for layoff. You should then consult the Contract that covers that position to determine if the proper employee is being laid off, in accordance to seniority as defined by the Contract, and whether that employee will be able to exercise bumping rights within that department. Once the proper employee has been identified, the Union must be notified by Labor Relations if the employee’s position is covered by a collective bargaining unit.

Each Contract has a negotiated time period that the employee must be told about the layoff or they will receive pay in lieu of notice. A lay off letter should be drafted to include the reason for the layoff, the effective date of the layoff, and whether the employee is entitled to pay in lieu of notice or severance. A copy of that letter should be sent to LR/ER to be placed in the employee’s personnel file.

Layoff List:
Temple maintains an internal layoff list (also called recall list) for each job classification, including non-bargaining employees. The list includes the names of employees who have been laid off within the preceding 12 months. When a vacancy occurs, if there are names on the internal layoff list for that classification, recall will be made on the inverse order of layoff and in accordance with the applicable terms of the Contract that covers that position.

Separation from the University:
Voluntary:

  • When an employee resigns, the  department should forward the letter or email to LR/ER (Felisha Brown) by email or by attaching the document when submitting the termination EPAF (Electronic Personnel Action Form)
  • The department should gather all Temple property and remind the employee to do an Exit Interview either by fax or via TUPortal under My Portal tab located under Personal Announcements.

Involuntary:

  • The Rules of Conduct provides what offenses warrant termination and the Contracts require just cause to do so. Prior to terminating an employee, the Rules of Conduct and LR/ER should be consulted. 
  • An employee terminated for cause will be issued a disciplinary report (bargaining) stating the work rule violated or a memo (non-bargaining) stating why they were terminated and the work rule violated.
  • The department wants to make sure to follow the termination checklist for exiting the employee.
  • A copy of the discipline letter should be forwarded to LR/ER.
  • Make sure to retrieve all Temple property from employee.
  • If computer access needs to be terminated immediately for an involuntary termination please send a request to Deirdre Walton.

EPAF (Electronic Personnel Action Form):

  • All terminations are submitted through an electronic workflow called EPAF. If a department needs assistance please direct them to Felisha Brown.
  • If a department is terminating an employee who is set up with an existing end in banner, they will need to send the information to Felisha via email. They will not be able to use the EPAF system.

Unemployment Compensation:
When an employee separates from the University they can apply for unemployment compensation. LR/ER provides documentation to the Department of Labor and Industry concerning the employment and separation. The University does not determine if they will be granted unemployment compensation. This is determined by the Department of Labor and Industry. Employees who engage in willful misconduct and/or are unemployed through no fault of their own will not receive unemployment compensation; e.g. employees who have been laid off.

ADAA
The Americans with Disabilities  Amendment Act (ADAA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and governmental activities. In general, the employment provisions of the ADA require:

  • Equal opportunity in selecting, testing, and hiring qualified applicants with disabilities;
  • Job accommodation for applicants and workers with disabilities when such accommodations would not impose "undue hardship;" and
  • Equal opportunity in promotion and benefits.

Please refer any employees who inquire about ADA to LR/ER so that we can evaluate the need for accommodation.

Updated: 08/29/2016
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