1210.00 Sexual Harassment

Modified November 2001

1210.10 Policy

MSU-Bozeman's policies on prohibiting sexual harassment are available by contacting Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) at 406-994-2042 or at

1210.30 History

Memo to President Tietz regarding Sexual harassment Policy, June 9, 1982. Section reviewed by the MSU Personnel Board on September 22, 1986, and approved by Director of Administration on March 20, 1987. Revision approved by the Vice President for Administration on October 28, 1992. This modification approved by the Vice President for Administration & Finance on November 29, 2001.

1220.00 Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action

Modified November 2001

1220.10 Policy

MSU-Bozeman's policies on Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action are available by contacting Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) at 406-994-2042 or at http://www.montana.edu/equity/.

1220.20 History

Procedures reviewed by the MSU Personnel Board on March 25, 1992, and approved by the President on September 4, 1992. This modification approved by the Vice President for Administration & Finance on November 29, 2001.

1230.00 Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy

Modified November 2001

1230.10 Reference

  • Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, Public Law 100-690, Title V, Subtitle D.
  • Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments for 1989, Public Law 101-226.
  • Board of Regents Policy, 503.1, "Alcoholic Beverages."

1230.20 Coverage

This policy applies to all employees, including student employees.

1230.30 Policy

Montana State University-Bozeman is committed to maintaining a work environment which is drug and alcohol free. The unlawful and unauthorized use, possession, manufacture, distribution, or sale of controlled substances and alcohol are prohibited in and on MSU-Bozeman property and during the performance of one's duties.

Compliance with Montana State University - Bozeman's Drug and Alcohol Abuse policy is a condition of continued employment. Violations of this policy will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. An employee who violates the provisions of this policy may be required to successfully complete a drug/alcohol abuse rehabilitation program as an alternative to termination.

1230.40 Legal Sanctions

Persons convicted of crimes involving the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs or alcohol are subject to penalties under state law and local ordinances. Local and state statutory penalties include the following:

A.     Public drinking (Bozeman Municipal Code 9.30.10) - fine of $25.00 to $300.00.

B.     Criminal sale or possession of dangerous drugs (Title 45, Chapter 9, MCA) - fines from $100 to $50,000 and imprisonment from not more than six months to life, depending on the type of drugs involved and the circumstances surrounding the sale or possession.

Severe federal penalties exist for the use, possession and/or distribution of illicit drugs, which include marijuana, speed, crack, and cocaine. Federal judges are empowered to sentence offenders to a federal penitentiary or to mete out substantial fines, depending on factors such as the drug and the nature of the offense.

1230.50 Health Risks

Abusive alcohol consumption and any use of illicit drugs are detrimental to physical and mental health in a myriad of ways. Dependency on alcohol and illicit drugs can take three forms:

A.     Psychologic craving, with antisocial behavior involved in the procurement of the drug;

  1. Physiologic dependence, whereby withdrawal symptoms are displayed when the use drug is discontinued;
  2. Tolerance, where there is a need to increase the dose of the drug to obtain the desired effects.

Adverse effects of alcohol can include illnesses such as alcoholic liver disease and cerebellar degeneration; impairment of social and occupational functioning, including poor work performance; depression, frequent accidents, fights, family abuse, suicide and homicide; acute intoxication, blackouts, alcoholic hallucinosis, and delirium tremens.

A wide variety of medications and illicit drugs can also be abused. Associated health risks include: dependency; acute intoxication with depression or euphoria; altered time perception; impairment of immediate memory; overdose with hallucinations, stupor, shock, coma, or death; acute withdrawal syndromes; psychosis; or aggravation of existing mental illness.

The above information is from Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment, 1990.

For additional information about health risks and legal penalties, contact Personnel and Payroll Services.

1230.60 Employee Education and Assistance Programs

An employee assistance program (EAP) is available to provide information or confidential referral to drug and/or alcohol counseling or rehabilitation programs. Employees needing help in dealing with drug/alcohol problems may contact Personnel and Payroll Services for referrals to education, treatment, and rehabilitation programs. Information relative to insurance coverage for such programs is also available through Personnel and Payroll Services. (Cross reference Section 1055.00, "Employee Assistance Program," of this manual.)

The University's Counseling and Psychological Services, in conjunction with the Alcohol/Drug Prevention Center, provides counseling and/or referral services to employees. The Counseling and Psychological Services Center is housed in the Swingle Health Center.

When supervisors feel they have an employee who may have a drug/alcohol problem, they should contact the Director of Personnel and Payroll Services for guidance and assistance in dealing with any aspect of the problem in the work setting.

A list of community based services is attached as Appendix A.

1230.70 Requirement to Report a Drug Statute Conviction

In compliance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, employees are required to notify their supervisor of a criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace within five days of the conviction. The supervisor is then responsible for notifying Personnel and Payroll Services immediately upon notice from the employee. If the employee is receiving federal funding, the appropriate federal contracting agency will be notified within 10 days of notice of the conviction.

1230.80 History

Reviewed by the Personnel Board on January 18, 1989, and approved by the Director of Administration on March 17, 1989. This revision reviewed by Personnel Board on September 26, 1990, and approved by the Vice President of Administration on January 17, 1991. This modification approved by the Vice President for Administration & Finance on November 29, 2001.

1230.90 Appendix A - Community Resources

Alcoholics Anonymous
502 West Babcock
Bozeman, MT 59715

Alcohol Services of Gallatin County
502 South 19th Street, Suite 302
Bozeman, MT 59715-6827
586-5493 - outpatient

Alcoholism Service of Anaconda/Deer Lodge County
100 West Park
Anaconda, MT 59711-2259
563-6601 - outpatient

Battered Women's Network
Crisis Line, 586-0263 or 586-4111

Boyd Andrew Chemical Dependency Care Center
P.O. Box 1153
Helena, MT 59624-1153
443-2343 - out patient, intermediate care

Butte Alcohol & Drug Services
53 West Granite
Butte, MT 59701-9213
723-4001 - outpatient

Butte Indian Health & Chemical Dependency Program
303 West Silver
Butte, MT 59701
782-0461 - outpatient, intermediate care

Chemical Dependency & Family Counseling, Inc.
304 Milwaukee, Suite 27
Deer Lodge, MT 59722
846-3442 - outpatient

Galen Alcohol Service Center
Warm Springs, MT 59756-9999

Help Center
323 South Wallace Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715

Lighthouse Residential Drug Treatment Center
Warm Springs, MT 59756-9999

Montana Deaconess Medical Center
Chemical Dependency Unit
1101 26th Street South
Great Falls, MT 59405-5193
761-1200, ext. 5570

Rimrock Foundation
1231 North 29th Street
P.O. Box 30374
Billings, MT 59107-0374

Rocky Mountain Treatment Center, Inc.
920 4th Avenue North
Great Falls, MT 59401-4199

Southwest Chemical Dependency Services
414 East Callendar
Livingston, MT 59047-2746
222-2812 - outpatient

Wilderness Treatment Center II
Route 1, Box 245
Wilsall, MT 59806
854-2838 - inpatient


1240.00 Progressive Discipline

1240.10  Policy           

A.     Coverage - This policy applies to classified employees who have completed a probationary period.  It does not cover employees in positions defined as temporary or fixed term.

B.     Role of Personnel and Payroll Services - Personnel and Payroll Services is responsible for assisting supervisors in administering discipline in accordance with collective bargaining agreements, applicable state and federal law, and university policies and procedures.  Personnel and Payroll Services shall be consulted prior to imposing formal disciplinary action, and is available to provide supervisors with assistance in dealing with employee problems prior to the commencement of formal disciplinary action.  If Personnel and Payroll Services is not consulted, the disciplinary action may be declared invalid.  However, failure to consult with Personnel and Payroll Services shall not be sufficient grounds in itself for a grievance committee or arbitrator to overturn a disciplinary action.

C.     Reasons Employees May Be Subject to Discipline and Discharge - Montana State University-Bozeman has an obligation to maintain a safe and efficient operation.  Employees may be subject to discipline and discharge for reasons including but not limited to:

1.      failure to perform job duties in a satisfactory manner;

2.      violation of work rules, policies, laws, labor contract provisions, supervisory orders or directives or other forms of misconduct;

3.      failure to meet applicable professional standards; or

4.      any behavior that interferes with or disrupts the efficient operation of the university system including certain off-duty conduct when it is harmful to the university's operation or reputation.

D.     Progressive Discipline Endorsed - Management shall, when appropriate, use progressive discipline.  However, the appropriateness of using progressive discipline in each case lies with the discretion of the employer.  Supervisors and managers shall first consult with Personnel and Payroll Services in situations where formal discipline is being considered.  Progressive discipline involves applying disciplinary actions which may progress from less serious to more serious actions based upon the initial severity, an employee's overall work history, and the repeated nature or pattern of misconduct or unsatisfactory performance.  Progressive discipline may range from corrective counseling to discharge from employment.  The number of steps may vary and steps may be repeated or skipped.  Discharge should not be an initial disciplinary action except in severe cases of unsatisfactory performance or behavior.

1240.20 Informal Discipline

Corrective counseling and oral warnings are informal disciplinary actions which may be used at the option of management prior to or in addition to formal discipline to deal with performance deficiencies or misconduct.  They are not part of formal discipline and are not grievable.  Documentation is encouraged, but is not required.

1240.30  Formal Disciplinary Actions

A.     Types of Formal Discipline - Formal disciplinary actions include but are not limited to written warnings, suspension without pay and discharge.  Formal disciplinary actions may be combined or include other disciplinary measures such as a requirement to seek counseling, job transfer or reassignment, demotion, cancellation of leave, last chance agreement, requirement to provide a doctor's verification of illnesses, etc.

B.     Notification of Discipline - Each formal disciplinary action shall include written notification to the employee which includes, at a minimum, the following:

1.      a detailed, specific description of the problem or incident such as places, times, and examples;

2.      a summary of any prior discussions and formal or informal disciplinary actions over similar or related matters;

3.      the disciplinary action to be taken including dates and duration where applicable;

4.      the improvement or correction expected, if applicable; and

5.      the consequences of the employee's failure to make required improvements or correction.

The employee shall typically be offered an opportunity to review, sign and date any notice of formal disciplinary action (except discharge) and shall have the opportunity for verbal and/or written response.  The employee's signature indicates that the employee has had the opportunity for review but not necessarily that the employee agrees with the action.  If the employee refuses to sign, a witness to such refusal may sign and date the notice.  Where notices cannot be issued in person, they should be delivered by certified mail.

An employee may file a grievance over a formal disciplinary action.  Employees should refer to the applicable collective bargaining agreement for grievance procedures and timelines.  Classified employees who are union exempt may file a grievance under Section 800 of the Personnel Policy and Procedures Manual.

1240.40 Steps of Progressive Discipline and Examples of Infractions and Penalties

It is difficult to list specific infractions and prescribe the appropriate penalty because each situation needs to be analyzed and a determination of the appropriate penalty made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with Personnel and Payroll Services.  The context in which an infraction occurs needs to be examined in addition to a number of other variables such as the length and quality of the employee's service.  For example, recurring tardiness is an offense that would more quickly lead to the discharge of an employee with receptionist duties than of someone working in a more flexible work environment.  The following examples serve only as a general point of reference.  It is understood that individual circumstances may result in a more or less severe penalty.

A.     Performance Counseling/Oral Warning - Behaviors that may result in performance counseling and/or oral warnings include but are not limited to:  routine performance errors; tardiness; mild cases of inappropriate use of work time; rudeness to coworkers; and wearing dirty or inappropriate work attire.

B.     Written Warning

1.      Uses of Written Warnings - Written warnings are issued when an employee fails to correct a problem after receiving performance counseling and/or an oral warning.  It may also be appropriate as the first step of progressive discipline for more serious misconduct including but not limited to:  violation of safety rules; displays of anger or disrespect including cursing; leaving work early without prior authorization; horseplay not resulting in significant harm or damage of property; or sleeping on the job.

2.      Limitations on Duration - Employees have the right to have a warning letter removed from their personnel file if after a reasonable period of time the reason for the warning letter has been corrected.  The first warning letter that an employee receives will not remain in the personnel file for longer than one (1) year unless there are repeated offenses or insufficient progress.  Warning letters may be removed earlier than one (1) year by agreement of the appropriate personnel/human resources director and the bargaining agent.  If the first warning letter is to remain longer than six (6) months, the employee will be provided an interim written progress report by the supervisor within six (6) months from the issuance of the warning letter.

C.     Suspensions 

1.      Suspensions Without Pay - Suspensions without pay are used when an employee fails to correct the problem after receiving a letter of warning.  They may also be appropriate as the first step of progressive discipline for very serious misconduct or when there are mitigating factors in circumstances that might otherwise be cause for immediate discharge.  Examples of situations where a suspension may be appropriate include but are not limited to:  deliberate refusal to follow the reasonable directives of a supervisor; disclosing confidential information; or fighting with a coworker.  The length of the suspension should be considered in light of any prior disciplinary action and the seriousness and type of offense.  Suspensions normally do not exceed ten (10) days.

2.      Suspensions With Pay - Exception - A paid leave of absence may be imposed  when it is determined an employee must be immediately removed from the workplace during an investigation of the facts.  Suspension with pay is not a disciplinary measure.  If during the investigation the employee is exonerated, the employee will be reinstated without discipline.  If misconduct is verified, the employee shall be subject to formal discipline, up to and including discharge.

D.     Discharge - Discharge is the ultimate form of progressive discipline and is used in situations when other forms of disciplinary action fail to remove or correct the problem or it may be used as the first and only step of discipline in response to the most serious types of offenses.  Discharge may be appropriate in situations including but not limited to the following:

·        endangering or threatening the health or safety of others

·        using alcohol or illegal drugs on university property or during work hours or reporting for duty under the influence thereof

·        falsifying official records

·        unauthorized absence from work in excess of five days

·        using or authorizing another to use any state owned or leased vehicle or other property for other than official  purposes

·        physical violence or fighting on the employer's premises

·        brandishing any firearm or weapon on the employer's premises

·        immoral or indecent conduct on the employer's premises

·        serious or pervasive sexual harassment

·        theft

·        willful destruction or abuse of the employer's or another employee's property or materials     

·        failure to maintain a valid and current MT driver's license or other professional license when required to perform job duties

            Many of MSU-Bozeman's collective bargaining agreements state that employees may be discharged for "just             cause."  A guideline for determining if a discharge meets the standard of "just cause" is included in Section             1240.70.

            Personnel and Payroll Services must be consulted prior to any discharge to insure the requirements for a pre-            termination hearing are met.  Employees must be given an opportunity to respond to the charges against them in front             of an administrator (other than the supervisor who is recommending discharge) prior to imposing discharge.

1240.50 Right to Representation

Under certain circumstances, an employee may have a legal right to union representation at an "investigatory" meeting between the supervisor and employee, if such meeting may result in formal disciplinary action.  It is the employee's responsibility to request a union representative.  Non-union employees may request a co-worker to be present during an investigatory meeting.

1240.60 Training and Accountability of Supervisors

Supervisors must recognize that failure to discipline employees properly in accordance with this policy and applicable collective bargaining agreements may result in the disciplinary action being overturned.  Improper terminations may also have financial consequences.  Supervisors are accountable for compliance with this policy and may be subject to disciplinary action for repeated violations. 

The need to discipline employees is often reduced when supervisors fulfill their responsibilities in the following areas:  orienting and training employees; establishing, communicating and enforcing rules, policies and procedures; identifying and solving problems; providing ongoing feedback; and coaching and counseling employees.  Training shall be provided to supervisors who need additional assistance fulfilling their supervisory responsibilities.  Personnel and Payroll Services is available to provide guidance regarding discipline handling to supervisors.  

1240.70 Just Cause - The Seven Steps

1.      Did the employee have forewarning or foreknowledge of the possible or probable disciplinary consequences of the employee's conduct?

2.      Was the University's rule or managerial order reasonably related to (a) the orderly, efficient, and safe operation of the department's business, and (b) the performance that the supervisor might properly expect of the employee?

3.      Did the supervisor, before administering discipline to an employee, make an effort to discover whether the employee did in fact violate or disobey a rule or order of management?

4.      Was the University's investigation conducted fairly and objectively?

5.      Did the investigation produce sufficient evidence or proof that the employee was guilty as charged?

6.      Has the department applied its rules, orders and penalties even-handedly and without discrimination?

7.      Was the degree of discipline administered by the supervisor in a particular case reasonable related to (a) the seriousness of the employee's proven offense, and (b) the employee's records of service?

If the answer to one or more of the above questions is "no," it may signify that just cause for discharge does not exist.

1240.80 History

Approved by Legal Counsel on February 12, 2003.  Effective date: February 12, 2003.  Review date: February 12, 2006.  Reviewer: Personnel and Payroll Services.  

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