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Progressive Discipline

This policy is of TRIUMF wide scope and addresses all employee categories. Those employees whose agreement comes under an affiliated university, institution or collective agreement must refer to the appropriate policies or contracts of their governing university, institution or collective agreement.


TRIUMF requires that employees:

1) Comply with all policies, procedures and guidelines that are reasonably required to protect TRIUMF's interest in its operations, preserving its intellectual and physical property, and maintaining its administrative standards.

2) Carry out all operations in a competent, safe, efficient and orderly manner.

3) Follow the directions of management provided that such directions are not arbitrary, discriminatory, illegal, or made in bad faith.

Failure to meet these requirements may result in disciplinary actions up to and including dismissal.


The Director, Division Heads and Supervisors have responsibility for administering disciplinary actions which include verbal warnings, letters of reprimand or suspension.


When a Division Head, Manager or Supervisor deems it necessary to apply disciplinary measures, the situation will be approached with the concept that all action will be corrective and constructive, in order to provide an opportunity for the employee to improve or succeed.


An incident of alleged misconduct will be investigated, as outlined below, in a discrete, objective and comprehensive manner so as to ensure that all of the information needed to make a fair and appropriate decision is obtained. All investigation steps will be documented and conducted by the appropriate Supervisor and Division Head, in consultation with the Human Resource Manager. If the employee so chooses, a member of the appropriate Employee Representative Committee may be present during the investigative steps.

Initial Procedural Steps

1) The Human Resource Manager will inform the employee of the incident under investigation, and give him/her every opportunity to present reasons or an explanation of what occurred and why.

2) If there are witnesses or other employees involved, the Supervisor, HR Manager or Division Head will listen to their explanations or versions as well.

3) After listening to the employee, and any other party involved, a decision will be made as to whether there is sufficient cause for corrective action, and if so, what corrective action is appropriate.

4) If the appropriate action is to provide the employee with training that will allow him/her an opportunity to improve his/her skill or behavior, then such training will be organized.

5) If the appropriate action is disciplinary, then disciplinary actions shall be applied that are appropriate to the circumstances as determined by the investigation and may include, but are not limited to, verbal or written reprimands, placement onto probationary status, suspension or discharge for cause.

6) In certain instances it would be obvious that immediate disciplinary action must be taken, i.e. fighting, insubordination; damage to equipment or property; reporting to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol; endangering the lives or safety of others. In such instances immediate suspension without pay may occur on the discovery of the incidence of misconduct.

7) Reprimands (other than immediate as outlined in (6) above) shall be applied in a progressive manner, as set out below, with the beginning and subsequent steps being applied as appropriate to the circumstance.

  • Step 1. A verbal reprimand stating what happened, why the conduct is not acceptable and the corrective action required.
  • Step 2. A verbal reprimand as above with a written confirmation placed in the employee's personal file.
  • Step 3. A written reprimand as above plus a warning that failure to comply may result in further disciplinary action up to and including suspension without pay, or discharge.
  • Step 4. A written reprimand as above, with the option for suspension without pay, and a final warning that failure to comply will result in discharge.
  • Step 5. Discharge for cause.

Note: If, in cases of immediate suspension as in 6) above, it is later found by the investigation team to have been unjust, the employee will be compensated for any lost pay.


1) It is the responsibility of all Supervisors and Division Heads to comply with the procedures of this policy.

2) It is the responsibility of the Division Heads to ensure that their Supervisors comply with these procedures.

3) It is the responsibility of the Director to authorize the reinstatement of a terminated employee later found to be unjustly discharged for cause.

4) It is the responsibility of the Human Resource Manager to advise management and staff on the application of these procedures, and to interpret this policy.