Human Resources

University System of Georgia

Human Resources Administrative Practice Manual


Dismissal, Demotions, or Suspensions

Citation Reference  
Official Title Policy on Dismissal, Demotions, or Suspensions
Abbreviated Title Dismissal, Demotions, or Suspensions
Volume Human Resources
Responsible Office Human Resources
Originally issued
Revised January 2008

Policy Statement

Supervisors who are considering a suspension, demotion or dismissal of an employee must contact human resources to ensure that all appropriate laws, regulations and policies are observed.

Dismissal of classified employees may be effected by an employee’s immediate supervisor who has been granted the authority to impose action up to and including dismissal when the supervisor determines the employee’s performance of duty or personal conduct is unsatisfactory. Classified employees may be terminated for just cause. All supervisors are encouraged to follow a progressive discipline process; however, there are certain offenses that warrant immediate termination. Generally, these offenses should be communicated to employees by their supervisor.

A demotion is defined as a reassignment from one position to another position at a lower pay grade or salary range. A demotion can also be defined as a reassignment of duties to a lower level of pay or responsibility even if there is not a change in the employee’s job title or position. Involuntary demotions may occur if work is eliminated, abolished or reorganized, as a disciplinary action or if a classified employee is unable to perform the work satisfactorily.

A suspension may occur as part of a Progressive Disciplinary Process or as part of an investigation.

Reason for Policy

This policy ensures consistency among institutions of the University System and that appropriate law, regulations, and policies are observed.

Entities Affected By This Policy

All units of the University System of Georgia are covered by this policy.

Who Should Read This Policy

All Human Resources personnel and employees within the University System of Georgia should be aware of this policy.


Contact Phone Email/URL
Office of Human Resources 404-962-3235
Institution Chief Human Resources Officers See University System HR Officer Listing at

Website Address for This Policy


Related Documents/Resources



These definitions apply to these terms as they are used in this policy:

  • Dismissal: end of employment, generally involuntary or for cause.

  • Demotions: a decrease in the duties and responsibilities assigned to an employee and a downward change in his/her classification and salary range.

  • Suspension: a period of time during which the employee is not allowed to work and for which the employee will receive no compensation when it has been determined that the employee’s performance of duty or personal conduct is unsatisfactory.

  • Board of Review: A designated employee or group of employees assigned to consider a grievance file by an employee and review the action taken, as determined by each individual institution.


Employees may be subject to demotion, suspension or dismissal in the sole discretion of institutional management. Institutions are expected to adhere to fair employment practices when considering such actions and should follow institutional policy regarding adverse employment actions.

An employee affected by demotion, suspension or dismissal shall be informed in writing of the reasons for the action taken. The effective date of a dismissal is immediate. The effective date of a demotion or suspension shall be five days following the notification. An employee affected by a demotion, suspension or dismissal may appeal to the next level of authority within five working days of the notification of the action.

The employee shall also be entitled to the procedural protections of a hearing before a Board of Review. (See Grievance Policy). The request must be made within ten (10) working days following the documented adverse action. The Board of Review hearing may take place either before or after the effective date of the personnel decision in question.

An employee who has been terminated or suspended without pay and is later reinstated shall be entitled to recover back pay unless the President or his designee determines otherwise.

Each institution is encouraged to establish an exit checklist to implement this policy


The responsibilities each party has in connection with this policy are:

Party Responsibility
Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, USG Maintain and revise termination, demotion, or suspension policy as appropriate.
Institution Chief Human Resources Officers Each institution shall establish and maintain an adequate procedure for implementing this policy.





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