– PRINT ON YOUR DEPARTMENTAL LETTERHEAD –
Dear Ms Employee:
Please take notice that you are issued this disciplinary letter that equates to a thirty-day suspension. Although you will not miss work or have your pay docked, this non-punitive disciplinary action carries the weight, in terms of progressive discipline, as if you had been actually suspended without pay. The grounds upon which this disciplinary action is being taken are in accordance with Section 4 of Civil Service Commission Rule XIII as follows:
G. Through willful misconduct, causing damage to public property or waste of public supplies, or waste of public time.
I. Insubordination. Insubordination shall mean that the employee, having then the ability to do a reasonable act which he/she is directed to do by an officer or employee of the County with authority to direct his/her activities on the job, willfully fails or neglects to perform the directed act.
(Other) Misuse of the Internet to access website of a sexual nature.
You used County equipment to access Internet websites of a sexual nature. During a check by the Information Services Department, it was found that you accessed 239 sexually oriented websites during the four days your usage was monitored. It was also determined that this access was done during work hours. This constitutes a waste of public time.
In September 2010 a complaint of sexual harassment was filed against you by a coworker. This complaint was investigated and substantiated. As a result, Steve Rossi, the County Equal Employment Manager, and your manager, (name) met with you in October 2010 and directed you not to engage in any further acts of sexual harassment. In that meeting Mr. X also stated that sex in any form is not appropriate in the workplace. Within three months of this directive, it was discovered that you were accessing websites of a sexual nature at work. This is a direct violation of your manager’s directive to you and constitutes insubordination.
In addition to being an act of insubordination, your conduct also created potential liability for another claim of sexual harassment. A coworker could have observed and been offended by the material you were viewing on your computer. In light of the prior incident of sexual harassment, this could constitute a hostile work environment and could have led to a lawsuit or formal complaint to the EEOC or FEHA. You are required to attend Mr. Rossi’s “Harassment and Sexual Harassment in the Workplace” training on (date) from (time to time). If for medical reasons you are unable to attend training on this date, you must contact Mr. Rossi to reschedule.
A direct referral was made to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) on your behalf. The EAP phone number is 1-800-834-3773 and you may attend on County time. These services can assist you with any personal difficulties you may be experiencing.
In taking this disciplinary action, the following factors were taken into consideration:
There was a prior substantiated complaint of sexual harassment filed against you. This would argue for a stronger action than a 30-day non-punitive disciplinary letter.
As a (Classification) you are in a lead position and are expected to serve as a role model for trainee and journey level workers. This would also argue for stronger action than a 30-day non-punitive disciplinary letter.
When interviewed, you readily admitted to accessing sexually oriented sites on County equipment and during work hours. You offered no acceptable excuse for this conduct, but your honesty and remorse during the interview process are seen as mitigating factors.
You have a good employment record. This is also seen as a mitigating factor.
In that you did not submit a written or oral reply to the intent letter issued on (date), it is assumed that you have waived that right. It is therefore my decision to sustain the proposed 30-day non-punitive suspension.
I want to make it clear that any further instance of misconduct will lead to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from County service.
Deciding Official, Title
cc: Department Head
First Line Manager
Donna Vaillancourt, Director, Human Resources Department
Employee & Labor Relations
Civil Service and Departmental Files