DePaul University Student Employment > Hiring & Managing > Workplace Issues > Progressive Discipline

Progressive Discipline

DePaul’s process for progressive discipline offers clear steps and communication strategies to address issues of unsatisfactory performance or conduct from student employees. The disciplinary process may start at any counseling stage, taking into consideration the severity of the issues and maintaining consistency in the administration of disciplinary actions. All sides of an issue should be heard prior to administering any disciplinary actions.

Please note: progressive discipline does not apply to student employees within their six-month introductory period. If you are experiencing issues with an employee during the introductory period, consult with Sarah Carbone, associate director of the Office of Student Employment, before taking action. For more information, please refer to DePaul’s Progressive Discipline policy

Steps for Addressing Issues & Administering Disciplinary Action

To report any one of these issues, please use the Progressive Disciplinary Action Form.

  1. Verbal Counseling: issued for minor infractions.
  2. Written Counseling: issued after previously delivering Verbal Counseling or for infractions of a serious nature. Managers can consult with the Office of Student Employment prior to a written counseling meeting. Please send the completed form to the Office of Student Employment at DPC 9500 (Loop) or SAC 192 ( Lincoln Park). 
  3. Final Written Counseling: issued if Written Counseling has been distributed within the last 12 months or for a first serious offense. Managers must consult with the Office of Student Employment prior to a final writ​ten counseling meeting. Please send the completed form to the Office of Student Employment at DPC 9500 (Loop) or SAC 192 (Lincoln Park).
  4. Performance Improvement Plan​: issued by managers in order to create an action plan and timeframe for student employees to correct unsatisfactory performance. This enforces scheduled check-ins with student employees to reflect on past behavior and how to improve. This form can be issued in conjunction with the Progressive Discipline Action Form, but is not required.

Factors in Determining Severity of Disciplinary Action

The following list identifies some factors for managers to consider prior to imposing any disciplinary action.

  • Degree of severity of the infraction/offense
  • Employee’s length of service and history with the University
  • Provocation, if any, that may have led to the offense
  • Number of previous offenses
  • Previous warnings or other disciplinary action for previous offenses
  • Employee’s pattern of conduct
  • Fairness of past and present supervisory practices
  • Clearly communicated University and department rules
  • Consistently applied University and departmental rules
  • Appropriate penalties for similar offenses
  • Past practices of the department for handling similar offenses

Responsibilities during the Disciplinary Process

Please contact the Office of Student Employment for guidelines on the process, when necessary.

Manager Responsibilities:

  • Initiate an open dialogue about behavioral or performance issues or struggles. Always allow students to present their version of the events in question.
  • Introduce an action plan to help guide students to an acceptable level of behavior or performance.
  • Explain the reasoning behind any counseling as well as the consequences if improvements are not made.
  • Investigate and/or research, in a timely fashion, incidents in violation of University policies, procedures, rules and standards.
  • Provide written documentation for department file, employee records and Human Resources files, if applicable.
  • Provide employee with continuous feedback on progress during the disciplinary process.

Student Employee Responsibilities:

  • Assist managers in developing a plan of action to restore behavior or performance to a satisfactory level, and agree on a final plan to ensure success.
  • Provide clear and concise information regarding the issues in question.

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