Policy Name: Progressive Discipline

Original Adoption: January 1, 1991

Revised: September 2016

Next Scheduled Review: September 2022

Responsible Cabinet Member: Associate Vice President for Human Resources

Department/Office: Human Resources


The purpose of this policy is to state NPC's position on administering equitable and consistent discipline for unsatisfactory conduct in the workplace. The best disciplinary measure is the one that does not have to be enforced and comes from good leadership and fair supervision at all employment levels.


NPC's own best interest lies in ensuring fair treatment of all employees and in making certain that disciplinary actions are prompt, uniform, and impartial.


The President and College Cabinet as directed by the Board of Trustees.


The major purpose of any disciplinary action is to correct the problem, prevent recurrence, and prepare the employee for satisfactory service in the future.

Although employment with NPC is based on mutual consent and both the employee and NPC have the right to terminate employment at will, with or without cause or advance notice, NPC may use progressive discipline at its discretion.

Disciplinary action may call for any of four steps -- verbal warning, written warning, suspension with or without pay, or termination of employment -- depending on the severity of the problem and the number of occurrences. There may be circumstances when one or more steps are bypassed.

Progressive discipline means that, with respect to most disciplinary problems, these steps will normally be followed: a first offense may call for a verbal warning; a next offense may be followed by a written warning; another offense may lead to a suspension; and, still another offense may then lead to termination of employment. If more than 12 months have passed since the last disciplinary action, the process will normally start over.

NPC recognizes that there are certain types of employee problems that are serious enough to justify either a suspension, or, in extreme situations, termination of employment, without going through the usual progressive discipline steps.

By using progressive discipline, the hope is that most employee problems can be corrected at an early stage, benefiting both the employee and NPC.