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Disciplinary Actions

HR0525 - Disciplinary Action Objective

To provide a fair and objective means to correct the unsatisfactory work performance or work-related behavior, including gross misconduct, of regular staff who have completed any required probationary period. To provide fair and uniform procedures including due process if required by law, to correct, discipline, or terminate employees for unsatisfactory work performance or work-related behavior or for gross misconduct.

Who is affected?

All regular exempt and non-exempt employees who have exceed their new hire probationary period.


The intent of the disciplinary action process is to assist and encourage UTHSC employees to correct their conduct, while contributing to the overall effectiveness of their department and the mission of the University.

Due Process

Disciplinary actions of any kind are evaluated on a case by case bases without bias, to improve the quality of service provided by University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) employees. To ensure due process, employee performance evaluations are completed on an annual basis by department heads/supervisors. This is then followed up with consistent feedback from management to employees regarding their performance throughout the year. In doing this, management is expected to clearly define job expectations to employees, while working collaboratively with them to meet the goals of the department and comply with polices governed by the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC).


Supervisors are expected to keep record of all areas related to employee performance, including but not limited to disciplinary issues, promotions, and demotions. Proper documentation of performance allows the employee to take responsibility for their behavior/performance. This allows the department to track the employee’s growth and/or need for improvement.

Progressive Discipline

The University provides employees who violate the policies and procedures a series of opportunities to comply within the progressive disciplinary process. There is no perfect formula to define progressive discipline; therefore, disciplinary actions may vary on a case by case basis. Management may deviate from the process listed below depending on the severity and frequency of the violation.

Progressive Discipline Process:

  • Letter of Expectation
  • Written Warning 
  • Final Warning
  • Pre-Termination Meeting 

For more information regarding the disciplinary process view the UTHSC procedures or contact Olivia Ralph, Employee Relations Manager in Human Resources at 901.448.3053 or

Sep 30, 2022