The purpose of this policy is to ensure that unacceptable conduct is addressed promptly and appropriately at Shantideva Center. It applies to teachers, Sangha, employees, volunteers, and members and should be used in accordance with the FPMT Ethical Policy. The Shantideva Center Grievance Procedure provides a framework by which a person may complain about a perceived wrong done to them by a teacher, student, employee, or volunteer. The Shantideva Center disciplinary policy provides for a separate process in case disciplinary action is deemed necessary.
The procedure is designed to establish the facts quickly and to deal with disciplinary issues. No disciplinary action will be taken until the matter has been fully investigated and a written report produced. An employee, teacher, volunteer, or member should not continue attending or serving while an investigation is in process. At every stage employees, students, teachers, volunteers, and members will have the opportunity to state their case and be accompanied at a hearing by an advisor, but not a lawyer. All persons subject to this policy have the right to appeal in writing, within five working days, against any disciplinary penalty. Where appropriate, counseling will be offered to resolve problems, and where possible and practicable all proceedings should be confidential.
Stage one – first warning: If conduct or performance is unsatisfactory the employee, teacher, volunteer, student, or member will be given a written warning. This will be recorded but may be disregarded after an agreed period of subsequent satisfactory conduct or service. This warning should include the date of the alleged offence and a description of it. In cases of egregious offence, disciplinary procedures will begin immediately with step two.
Stage two – final warning: If the offence is serious, or if there is no improvement in standards, or if a similar offence occurs, a final written warning will be given including the reasons for the warning and offering an agreed period during which improvement must be demonstrated.
Stage three – dismissal or action short of dismissal: If conduct or performance has not improved the employee, student, teacher, volunteer or member may suffer probation or dismissal. The disciplinary procedure is internal to Shantideva Center, will be handled by the Grievance Committee, and the decisions of the committee are final. The FPMT Senior Sangha Council should also be advised of all disciplinary issues relating to Sangha.
4. Gross Misconduct
In cases of gross misconduct, the first stage may be omitted and a final written warning presented. If, after investigation, it is confirmed that such an offence has been committed, the normal consequence will be immediate dismissal. Some examples of gross misconduct are:
- Theft, misappropriation, misuse or unauthorized use of Shantideva Center or its property
- Fraud, deceit, deception, and dishonesty
- A serious breach of FPMT or Shantideva Center policies and procedures
- Violent, offensive, or other intimidating conduct or language
- Unlawful harassment
- Incapacity or erratic behavior through the use of alcohol or drugs
- Conduct that constitutes a criminal offense
- Inappropriate use of the Internet
- Action likely to cause injury or impair safety
- Failure to respect confidentiality of information
- Undertaking work detrimental to or in conflict with the interests of Shantideva Center or the FPMT
- Failure to comply with a reasonable instruction
- Misconduct so incompatible with the employee/student/teacher/volunteer’s duties and responsibilities that their continued presence within the organization is insupportable