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3801 - Disciplinary Action

Grounds for Disciplinary Action

Employees may be disciplined for any conduct or actions that are determined to be detrimental to the City. The list below is provided only for the purpose of providing examples of improper conduct and is not exclusive:

A. Misconduct

  1. Dishonesty in work or conduct.
  1. Failure to be clean and neat in personal appearance or at the workstation appropriate to the position.
  1. Unauthorized use or abuse of City vehicles, equipment, or property.
  1. Abuse of City vehicles or equipment.
  1. Unauthorized performance of City services.
  1. Acceptance of bribes or enticements.
  1. Involvement of the City with creditors of employee because of employee's failure to properly arrange personal financial matters. An employee shall not be discharged for garnishment arising out of any one indebtedness.
  1. Use of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs during working hours.
  1. Intemperate use of alcohol or drugs so as not to be able to perform duties.
  1. Poor driving record, where driving is necessary in the discharge of job duties.
  1. Violation of the criminal laws of the United States or the State of Utah.
  1. Abuse of sick leave, emergency leave, jury duty or other paid leave.
  1. Conduct off the job, which discredits the City or affects the employee's ability to perform his/her duties effectively.
  1. Abuse of city benefits.
  1. Violation of the policies of the City, including the policies contained in this manual, or failure to properly observe the rules and regulations of the City, Department or Division.

B. Incompetency:

  1. Score of "Unsatisfactory" on performance evaluations.
  1. Score of "Below Standard" on a performance evaluation if the employee does not show substantial improvement within three months from the date of the evaluation.
  1. Failure to maintain a satisfactory physical record, in relation to the physical demands of the employee's current position.
  1. Failure to conduct oneself in a professional and competent manner appropriate to the position.

C. Failure to Perform Duty:

  1. Failure to perform those duties required by law.
  1. Neglect of job duties and responsibilities.
  1. Conduct subversive of good order and the discipline of the department where employed.
  1. Leaving the work area when not relieved from duty.
  1. Failure to be courteous or cooperative with customers, supervisors, fellow employees, or the public at large.
  1. Unexplained absence from work.
  1. Refusal of an employee to train or use the required safety equipment.
  1. Tardiness
  1. Insubordination

Disciplinary Measures

An employee whose conduct constitutes grounds for disciplinary action shall be subject to one or more of the following, depending on the supervisor's judgement as to the severity of the offense and the employee's previous performance record:

A. Informal

  1. An oral or written warning or reprimand which should be documented and which may be placed in the employee's personnel file.

B. Formal

  1. Employee may be placed on probation.
  1. Suspension or other time off without pay, or forfeiture of accrued leave.
  1. Demotion to a position of lesser responsibility.
  1. Termination.

Uniform Penalties

Within a department, like discipline shall be given for like offenses among employees of similar classification or position.

Legal and Management Review Required for Formal Disciplinary Action

  1. Whenever any Department Director or supervisor feels there is a need for formal disciplinary action to be taken against a City employee, that Department Director or supervisor must contact the Human Resources Division and the Legal Department, prior to the pre-disciplinary hearing with the employee and prior to taking any other action. A meeting will be held with the Department Director and appropriate members of his/her department, a representative from the Legal Department, and a representative from the Human Resources Division to discuss the action of the employee and the proposed disciplinary action to be taken in response.
  1. The Department Director shall consult with the City Manager before taking formal disciplinary action.
  1. Only the City Manager may approve the termination of an employee.

Pre-disciplinary Hearing with Employee

Whenever formal disciplinary measures are anticipated, a pre-disciplinary hearing must be held prior to imposing disciplinary action.

  1. The employee shall be given prior notice of the hearing along with an explanation of charges, evidence, allegations, and reasons for considering disciplinary action and, where termination is being considered, notice that such a measure is being considered. The employee shall be advised that he or she will be given an opportunity to respond and may bring any evidence or witnesses to the hearing which the employee believes are relevant to the hearing. The employee shall be given reasonable time to prepare for the hearing.
  2. The hearing shall be conducted by the Department Director or his/her designee, and shall be held for the purpose of allowing the employee to examine the reasons for discipline and present any information or evidence the employee believes is relevant to the decision.
  3. The following items should be accomplished at the hearing:
    1. The department director or other appointing authority shall give charges, evidence, allegations or reasons orally or in writing to the employee.
    2. The employee shall be given a full opportunity to respond and give an explanation of the evidence against him to the appointing authority, verbally or in writing, or both.

  4. The City will maintain a written record of the conduct of the hearing.
  5. A decision as to the disciplinary action to be taken, if any, shall be made by the Department Director and the employee shall be notified in writing within a reasonable time after the hearing. If formal disciplinary action is imposed, the Department Director shall provide the employee written notice of disciplinary action (as described below) along with a written explanation of any employee rights for an appeal.

Notice of Disciplinary Action

The notice of disciplinary action is required when imposing formal discipline. It must be in writing, signed by the Department Director, addressed to the employee against whom the disciplinary action is taken, and must advise the employee of the cause for and the disciplinary action taken, the effective date thereof, and the employee's rights for an appeal, if applicable. All such written actions should be cleared through the Personnel and Legal Departments before being issued.

Responsibility for Discipline

Basic responsibility for discipline is vested in the Department Director under the direction of the City Manager. In cases where the Department Director does not exercise responsibility, the City Manager may investigate and take appropriate action.

Temporary Relief of Duty Pending an Investigation

Department Directors, division heads and supervisors may, when deemed in the best interest of the City and the employee, temporarily relieve any subordinate employee from duty (with pay), until the department director, division head or supervisor can take appropriate action. This is a special application of the authority to make assignments; it differs from the authority to suspend, which belongs to the Department Director and City Manager alone after due process requirements are met. Subsequent disciplinary action may result in the member being suspended without pay retroactive to the time the employee was relieved of duty, through a period of time to be determined by the disciplinary authority. Should an employee be found innocent, he/she shall be reinstated without loss of pay, seniority or benefits of any kind.


Regular employees may be placed on probation as a disciplinary measure for periods of time to be determined by the Department Director in consultation with the Human Resources Division, Legal Department and the City Manager. Employees who are placed on probation remain eligible for the same benefits as they were receiving before being placed on probation.


The Department Director, in consultation with the City Manager, may suspend a city employee in that department with or without pay only after following the procedures outlined in this document. The length of time of suspension shall be determined by the Department Director in consultation with the City Manager. The City Attorney's office shall review the determination to ensure it is in compliance with all applicable laws, including the FLSA. Once the length and type of suspension has been determined (i.e. with or without pay/benefits) the Department Director will notify the Personnel Officer to ensure processing.

The Department Director, in consultation with the City Manager shall determine the following:

  1. The status of the employee's benefits during the suspension period if an employee is suspended with pay.
  1. Whether or not the employee may be allowed to use accrued annual leave during the suspension period if the employee is suspended without pay.
  1. Whether or not to allow an employee to continue to receive some or all of the employee's benefits during the suspension period.

If an employee wishes to appeal the suspension or terms thereof, that employee may initiate a grievance (See Policy 3802).


The Department Director, in consultation with the City Manager, may demote a city employee in that department only after following the procedures outlined in this document. The Department Director will notify the Personnel Officer to ensure processing.

An employee who is demoted to a position and/or assigned a lower salary range shall receive a salary in the new range, equal to the salary percentage the employee received before the demotion. Persons demoted to a classification in a different career field shall start at the bottom of the applicable salary range, unless otherwise approved by the City Manager, and will be eligible for an increase after one year of satisfactory service in the new field. The employee's anniversary date shall revert back to the first full day of work as a full-time City employee.


See Termination of Employment policy (3901).

This policy applies to any and all forms of disciplinary action.

Enacted, 7/22/1993
Amended, 4/5/1995
Amended, 1/1/1996
Amended, 12/9/1993, Previous Policy,
Amended, 2/12/1996, Previous Policy,
Amended, 3/28/2001, Previous Policy,
Amended, 2Minor Edit, 1/6/2004