Progressive Discipline


copyright @ Central Michigan University, all rights reserved.

This Supervisor's Guide is a Publication of:


Human Resources Employee Relations

August 1996 - reviewed and updated 12/2012

For Questions or Additional Information Please Contact: Human Resources

This guide describes the basic elements of a sound progressive disciplinary system. It is intended as a guide to assist supervisors in determining when disciplinary action is necessary, what level of discipline is appropriate, and how to administer discipline.

We recognize that most employees only need to be properly trained and be informed of the rules in order to be positive, productive employees. There are, however, times when the supervisor must use the discipline process in order to get the employee's attention and attain the desired result. Supervisors are encouraged to make sure that the employee has been properly trained and informed prior to resorting to the discipline process.

The principles of progressive discipline, equitable treatment, past practice, and just cause are set forth in this guide. This guide details how to evaluate a situation prior to taking any disciplinary action, including the investigation process. The guide also outlines the employee's right to appeal disciplinary action. A checklist of questions is provided to help guide the supervisor through the disciplinary process. We have included the form required for documenting disciplinary action as well as sample disciplinary letters, they can be used to supplement the disciplinary form.



This guide was modeled after a similar document prepared by Indiana University - Purdue University at Indianapolis. We, at Central Michigan University, appreciate their willingness to allow us to revise and modify it for use at Central Michigan University.

Printable PDF Version

Progressive Discipline Form​​​​​​​​​