Informal counseling or coaching is just that. Typically oral, this action is taken to correct minor problems or to advise an employee of performance or behavior adjustments that are necessary. Informal counseling or coaching may be confirmed in a follow-up letter to the staff member, a copy of which you should keep as documentation.
Formal counseling is designed to provide structured feedback that includes an action plan for achieving successful performance. The plan should identify the performance problem, the actions necessary to correct the problem, and the time frames within which the problem must be corrected. After the meeting, the supervisor prepares a written conference memo summarizing the meeting to be given to the employee. The memo should include:
A copy of the memo is to be given to the employee.
Notice of Unsatisfactory Service
A Notice of Unsatisfactory Service can be issued with or without any recommended discipline (suspension, demotion, dismissal). If discipline is recommended, a pre-disciplinary meeting must be held to warn the employee of the discipline. Work with the Human Resources Representative, Staff Relations, or other designated individual to prepare this document.
If the supervisor is going to recommend discipline, he or she should meet with the employee to let the employee know. In most of our bargaining unit agreements, this step is a mandatory step in the discipline process.
Administrative Review (Skelly)
A meeting is typically requested during which the Administrator who is assigned as the Skelly Hearing officer, will meet with the employee that is being disciplined, to review the recommended discipline, and to hear the employee’s “side of the story”. The Administrator will then make a decision as to whether to keep the recommendation for discipline as is, or alter it based on his or her findings.
The Board reviews the recommendation for disciplinary recommendation and decides on whether to take action to formalize it.
Personnel Commission Hearing
If the Board takes action to accept the discipline, then the employee may request to appeal the discipline with the Personnel Commission. The Personnel Commission will hold a hearing and then based on the facts of the case, will act to sustain, modify, or reverse the action. The Personnel Commission’s act is final (unless there is legal action taken beyond LAUSD).
The Discipline Process—An Overview