9. Employee Relations

901 Performance Appraisals

The WRLC understands that it can best achieve success when its employees are dedicated and motivated to fulfill their responsibilities and our vision/mission. To do this, employees and supervisors should communicate regularly throughout the year about the employee’s responsibilities, projects and performance. Formal written performance evaluations for all employees are conducted at least annually (mid-year reviews are recommended) using the WRLC Performance Feedback forms available from the Director of Finance and Administration. Between scheduled appraisals, supervisors should discuss with employees any performance concerns that require attention, and should keep written records of any significant incidents. Merit increases, if any, are tied to evaluations at the end of the fiscal year.

The performance appraisal process is essential to ensuring that each of us is focused on priorities that will result in the success of the WRLC. The responsibilities and annual initiatives for each position must be aligned with the mission and strategic goals of the WRLC. During the annual performance evaluation meeting, the supervisor and employee discuss the employee’s performance over the past year. The supervisor and the employee each offer reviews of the employee’s contributions to the department’s goals and to WRLC’s vision/mission. The appraisal will include the supervisor's assessment or the employee’s attainment of previously set objectives, recommendations for growth, and performance goals for the next evaluation period. The completed evaluation becomes part of the employee’s personnel record.

With newly hired employees, appraisals will be completed after the probationary period (employee's first three months of employment for a new hire), and after the employee's first three months in a new position resulting from a transfer or promotion.

902 Disciplinary Actions and Dismissal

The WRLC sets expectations for employees regarding job performance, time and attendance, and conduct. Employees are responsible for meeting these expectations and must understand that failure to meet expectations may result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

The purpose of discipline in most cases is to help employees improve poor or declining job performance, time and attendance problems, or unacceptable conduct. In many instances the WRLC will attempt to address these issues by following a system of progressive discipline, which may include any of the following steps:

  • Counseling by the supervisor
  • Written warning
  • Disciplinary suspension
  • Termination of employment

The WRLC may bypass one or more of the above steps depending on the severity of the performance concern and/or the number of occurrences.

Certain violations and infractions, as determined by the WRLC, including, but not limited to insubordination, dishonesty, theft, vandalism, physical assault, falsification of records, or illegal activity may be sufficiently serious to suspend the normal progressive disciplinary process. Under these circumstances, any step in the disciplinary procedure may be used, including dismissal without prior discipline.

Following a disciplinary action, it is the employee’s responsibility to correct the problem identified. Failure to do so may lead to further discipline, up to and including dismissal.

By establishing these procedures, the WRLC does not waive or limit its right to terminate employment with or without notice or cause. In addition, employees need to remember that the Employment at Will policy remains in full force and effect at all times. The progressive discipline policy does not apply during the probationary period.

903 Problem Resolutions

Dispute Resolution Procedure

The WRLC encourages open and constructive communication. When an employee cannot resolve job-related problems or when they feel unfairly treated, they should first seek assistance from their supervisor who is responsible for making a good faith effort to air differences and to find resolutions to problems. If these efforts are not successful, an employee is entitled to communicate the problem to the next level of management; the appropriate Director or the Executive Director.

An employee can proceed without fear of prejudice or reprisal and with full assurance that their confidence will be respected.

This procedure is available to all permanent part-time and full-time employees.

If an employee fails to reach an agreement after consultation with the supervisor or Director, he/she may file a written complaint with the Executive Director. The written complaint should contain the substantive points and the desired redress. If appropriate, the Executive Director may arrange a meeting with the parties concerned in an attempt to resolve the problem.

The Executive Director will no longer consider the written complaint if the employee separates from WRLC. If an employee’s complaint involves an involuntary separation, the employee must submit the written complaint within ten (10) working days of the date of separation. An employee may withdraw a complaint at any time by notifying the Executive Director in writing. The Executive Director may terminate the procedure at any point if it is determined that the complainant has failed to take actions required in a timely manner or otherwise impeded effective resolution of the complaint. If such action is necessary, both parties will be informed of it in writing.

Unless there is a persuasive reason to the contrary, or the complaint involves a separation from employment, an employee will not be allowed to pursue a complaint that was brought to the attention of the immediate supervisor or of the Executive Director more than seven (7) working days after the date of the occurrence. Exceptions require the approval of the Executive Director.