A. Performance Correction Process
A progressive performance correction process is appropriate in addressing most types of work performance problems, including unprofessional or unacceptable conduct. The performance correction process is intended to be prompt and timely and to assist the employee in identifying and overcoming work-related difficulties, performance deficiencies or behavior that violates University policies, procedures or practices. The performance correction process should usually be progressive, although in some cases the nature of the work performance problems or other behavior may warrant immediate formal warning or termination outside the progressive approach.
Generally, the formal performance correction process should follow active performance coaching and/or management. The formal performance correction process typically should include a verbal warning and, where appropriate, one or more written warnings prior to any termination. An unpaid suspension may be appropriate in some circumstances. However, any deduction in the pay of an exempt employee needs to be in compliance with the salary basis requirements of the FLSA (see Section 6, paragraph B of this Manual). Before taking such action, supervisors should consult with their local human resources officer, who in turn also should consult with the Office of Labor and Employee Relations. Any performance correction process, as well as any departures from the performance correction process, should be with the advice and counsel of the local human resources officer. This policy does not change the at-will status of Harvard employment, and Harvard reserves the right to depart from this performance correction process (including by not following this process at all in a given case).
B. Employees Holding Certain Positions
The progressive performance correction process may not be appropriate in circumstances involving individuals who hold senior level management positions that require them to regularly and reliably exercise a high level of judgment and discretion. In these rare situations the affected employee should be given a clear understanding and thorough discussion of how his/her performance is not meeting the standards of the job and he/she should be given an opportunity to present his/her understanding of the situation. If a mutually agreeable resolution to the situation cannot be found, the University reserves the right to terminate the employee.
These procedures are not available to employees hired as temporary or less than half-time (LHT) employees, those not employed on a regular Harvard payroll (e.g., consultants), teaching faculty and other instructional employees, or employees covered by collective bargaining agreements.
Last updated: 12/05/2008