12.1 Employees shall be held accountable for their conduct. Disciplinary measures up to and including dismissal shall be taken only for just cause. “Just cause” means that management has sufficient reasons for imposing accountability. Just cause requires: showing that the employee has committed the charged offense; offering specified due process rights specified in this chapter; and imposing a penalty appropriate to the circumstances.
12.2 Employees shall receive a written reprimand where appropriate based on specified misconduct, or where a verbal reprimand has not produced the desired improvement.
12.3 Prior to finalizing a dismissal, suspension, fine or demotion action, the employee shall be notified in writing that such action is being proposed and provided the reasons for the proposed action.
12.4 Employees shall receive written notice of their entitlement to a pre-decision meeting in dismissal, demotion for just cause, fines and suspension cases. If employees desire such a meeting, they shall submit a written request for a meeting to their Agency's designated personnel representative within 15 calendar days from the date of notice. Employees may be suspended without pay during this period provided that a management representative has first reviewed with the employee the basis for the action and provides an opportunity for response. Where employees' continued presence in the workplace would jeopardize others' safety, security, or the public confidence, they may be removed immediately from the workplace without loss of pay.
12.5 The pre-decision meeting shall be held within a reasonable time not to exceed 15 calendar days after the employee has requested the meeting in compliance with 12.4.
12.6 Pre-decision meetings shall be informal meetings to provide employees an opportunity to respond to the proposed action, and offer any reasons why the proposed penalty may not be justified or is too severe.
12.7 Fines of not more than 10 days pay may be imposed, provided they do not cause employees to be paid less than the federal minimum wage as set forth in the Fair Labor Standards Act.
12.8 Adverse documentation shall not be cited by agencies in any action involving a similar subsequent offense after 2 years, except if employees raise their past work record as a defense or mitigating factor.
12.9 Employees who have been dismissed, demoted or suspended may file an appeal directly with the Director or the MERB within 30 days of such action. Alternatively, such employees may simultaneously file directly with the Director, who must hear the appeal within 30 days. If the employee is not satisfied with the outcome at the Director's level, then the appeal shall continue at the MERB.