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Manager Resources

Employee Relations

American University follows a progressive disciplinary policy. Understanding and accepting this policy is implied in accepting employment.

Supervisors are required to take disciplinary action when established procedures are not followed, or when rules of conduct are ignored to the disadvantage of a working unit or the University. These guidelines have been set up to prevent misunderstandings when such occasions arise. It is the University's intention to be fair and uniform in the handling of these matters. However, these procedures should not be interpreted as constituting an employment contract.

Disciplinary action can take one of four forms: oral warning, written warning, suspension, or dismissal. The degree of disciplinary action is based on the nature of the offense. For more information on the disciplinary policy as well as examples of infractions that may result in discipline up to and including termination, please visit the Staff Personnel Policies Manual.

American University is committed to providing all staff with the opportunity to improve their performance in order to continue successful employment at the University. In the event a staff member fails to consistently demonstrate the core competencies established for all staff, or fails to meet performance expectations, or demonstrate the skills and functions required by their position, a manager may elect to place that individual on a performance improvement plan (PIP).

The PIP is a short term plan that determines clear milestones for improvement of work performance within a specified period of time –usually four to eight weeks. PIPs may be implemented independently or, if necessary, in conjunction with disciplinary action. Communication of a PIP may replace any warning step under the disciplinary policy. Failure to meet the milestones established by the PIP and maintain acceptable performance will result in termination of employment.

Managers with questions regarding PIPs or seeking guidance in the design and implementation of such a plan should contact Employee Relations at extension 2607.

Clear and open channels for the expression of employee complaints are basic principles of sound employee relations. Because employees do on occasion differ with supervisors on important questions, American University has provided subordinates with a mechanism for appealing the action or decision of a superior to a higher level within the organization without fear of retaliation.

Each staff member is responsible for using this procedure in a timely manner whenever there are unanswered questions or problems which adversely affect any aspect of the employment relationship (except for complaints involving discrimination or harassment which are covered by the Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Policy). For more information on the complaint procedure, please visit the Staff Personnel Policies Manual. Employee Relations is also available for consultation and advice about how to resolve problems or file a complaint.