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IV.F. Employee Rights and Privileges

IV.F.1. Expense and Travel Reimbursement

IV.F.1.01 - Expense Reimbursement

The Vice Chancellor for Business Services and Chief Financial Officer ("CFO") will prepare and distribute procedures to enable employees to be reimbursed, or to receive advances for reasonable and necessary travel expenses (including the cost of transportation, meals, registration and lodging) provided such travel is:

  1. approved in advance by the appropriate administrator as necessary and important to achieve System business objectives;
  2. supported by the appropriate budget; and
  3. documented by appropriate receipts supporting the business purpose and actual expenses.

IV.F.1.02 - Personal Automobile

Employees who are required to use personal automobiles for travel directly related to System business shall be reimbursed for such travel on a mileage basis. The rate of such reimbursement shall be determined annually.

All employees who use their own or rented vehicles while conducting college business must maintain minimum insurance coverage as required by the statutes of the State of Texas.

If any employee's own vehicle or rented car is lost or damaged by fire, theft or collision while on college-related business, the cost of repair must be covered by the owner's/driver's insurance.

 

LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on August 7, 2008

IV.F.2. Professional Development and Educational Assistance Program

IV.F.2.01 Policy

The College encourages and supports the advancement of all employees through educational, professional, and vocational development and training opportunities.

IV.F.2.02 Definitions

(a)   Professional Development means activities and opportunities that enhance the skill, knowledge and ability required in an employee's current position, or prepares an employee for a career path position in their area.

(b)  Educational Assistance Program means a separate written plan of an employer for the exclusive benefit of his employees to provide such employees with educational assistance.

(c)   Educational Assistance means payment, by an employer, of expenses incurred by or on behalf of an employee for education of the employee (including, but not limited to, tuition, fees, and similar payments, books, supplies and equipment), and the provision, by an employer, of courses of instruction for such employee (including books, supplies, and equipment). Educational Assistance does not include payment for, or the provision of, tools or supplies which may be retained by the employee after completion of a course of instruction, or meals, lodging, or transportation, or payment for, or the provision of any benefits with respect to, any course or other education involving sports, games, or hobbies.

(d)  Continuous Employment means employment in which employees receive pay in 26 consecutive pay periods during normal working business days.

(e)   Laboratory Fee means a sum sufficient to cover the general laboratory material and supply costs used by a laboratory student. Laboratory fees charged by the College shall not exceed the lesser of $24 per semester credit hour of laboratory course credit for which the student is enrolled or the cost of actual materials and supplies used by the student.   IV.F.2.03 Required Development The College provides financial support for professional licensure renewals, professional association or organization membership dues, and established continuing education requirements for specific positions. Position requirements are determined by the Chancellor or designee. Additionally, the College provides time-off and cost-reimbursement for job-specific training required for all employees, including but not limited to, orientation, legal compliance training, systems training, process training and other position-specific training.  

IV.F.2.04 Professional Development Activities

An employee may request Professional Development Leave to attend professional conferences, workshops, seminars, training courses, or meetings as approved by the supervisor. Pre-approved Leave is an excused absence. Sick, vacation, or compensatory time is not used. Additionally, an employee may request reimbursement or an advance for expenses related to professional development activities, including registration fees, travel, meals, and lodging in accordance with College travel policies and procedures.

All Professional Development costs and expenses must be within departmental budget authority and pre-approved by an employee’s supervisor.

IV.F.2.05 Organization Membership

Memberships in professional or academic associations or organizations are reimbursable, with supervisor approval, up to $25 a year per employee. The College shall not reimburse dues paid to unions or organizations engaging in lobbying or political activities.  

IV.F.2.06 Employee Educational Assistance

The College may provide limited Educational Assistance for eligible employees seeking to further their academic development. As Educational Assistance, the College will waive the tuition and required fees for eligible employees (up to six credit hours per term for a maximum of 18 credit hours per academic year) for approved College courses taken in accordance with this policy. Additionally, the College will do the same with state-funded continuing education courses for eligible employees for approved College courses taken in accordance with this policy, subject to space availability. The College may waive tuition and required fees for a course that includes a laboratory fee.  

IV.F.2.07 Educational Assistance Eligibility

Full-time employees employed at the start of class are eligible to receive assistance.

Part-time employees regularly employed with the College who have completed twelve months of continuous employment are eligible. Adjunct faculty who have taught at least six consecutive spring and fall semesters are eligible for assistance.

IV.F.2.08 Educational Assistance Conditions

Conditions of Educational Assistance will be developed and published by the College in procedures for the Educational Assistance Program.  

IV.F.2.09 Procedures

The Chancellor or designee may develop procedures for appropriate implementation of the Program.

LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on August 4, 2016

IV.F.3. Wellness Program

IV.F.3.01 - Purpose

The Wellness Program at LSCS is designed to encourage employees to practice simple, positive lifestyle habits that increase quality of life, productivity, and longevity. Wellness incorporates such aspects as adequate fitness, proper nutrition, stress management, disease prevention, the value of spirituality, personal safety, smoking cessation, regular physical exams and screenings, health education and awareness, and environmental support. There is now strong scientific evidence linking wellness program participation with improved health, decreased medical costs, and increased job productivity.

IV.F.3.02 - Release Time

Employees who engage in a minimum of three hours of exercise or community service each week will receive up to one and one-half hours release time from their duties to participate in such activities.

The Chancellor shall develop procedures that allow the maximum number of employees to participate without a reduction in institutional productivity.

LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on August 5, 2010

IV.F.4. Unlawful Discrimination and Prohibited Harassment Policy

IV.F.4.01 Policy

The College strives to maintain a work compliant with all applicable employment laws, including all laws outlawing discrimination arising from: sexual harassment, sexual violence race, color, sex, age, sexual orientation, religion, ethnic or national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other protected status. Unlawful employment discrimination by officers, managers, faculty, supervisors, employees, students, advisors, vendors, clients, or contractors will not be tolerated.

Retaliating against an employee who complains about discrimination as defined in this policy is also unlawful. Moreover, retaliating against an employee for cooperating in an investigation initiated to discover any of the prohibited conduct identified in the prior paragraph, whether internal or external, is also unlawful and contrary to the College’s policies.

IV.F.4.02 Definitions

(a)   Consent. Consent is defined in Section VI.E.3.02(a).  

(b)   Dating Violence. Dating Violence is defined in Section VI.E.3.02(b).  

(c)    Domestic Violence. Domestic Violence is defined in Section VI.E.3.02(c).  

(d)   Sexual Assault. Sexual Assault is defined in Section VI.E.3.02(d).  

(e)    Sexual Discrimination. Sexual Discrimination is defined in Section VI.E.3.02(e).  

(f)    Sexual Harassment. Sexual Harassment is defined in Section VI.E.3.02(f).  

(g)   Sexual Violence. Sexual Violence is defined in Section VI.E.3.02(g).  

(h)   Stalking. Stalking is defined in Section VI.E.3.02(h).  

(i)     Title IX Harassment. Title IX Harassment is defined in Section VI.E.3.02(i).  

(j)     Unlawful discrimination: Varying an employee’s or student’s employment or education terms or conditions because of the employee’s or student’s race, color, sex, age, sexual orientation, religion, ethnic or national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other protected status constitutes unlawful discrimination.  

Depending upon the circumstances and how they impact the workplace or academic environment, examples of unlawful discrimination could include the following:  

1.      Making decisions about a student’s or employee’s employment, compensation, or education because of his or her race, color, sex, age, sexual orientation, religion, ethnic or national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other protected status;  

2.      Verbal abuse, offensive innuendo, or derogatory words because of a student’s or employee’s race, color, sex, age, sexual orientation, religion, ethnic or national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other protected status; or  

3.      An open display of objects or pictures designed to create a hostile working or learning environment because of a person’s race, color, sex, age, sexual orientation, religion, ethnic or national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other protected status.  

IV.F.4.03 Addressing Employment Discrimination Complaints

(a)   Sexual Harassment/Sexual Violence Complaints. When the College receives any employee complaint of sexual harassment or sexual violence it will promptly investigate the allegation in the same manner that student complaints are handled under Section VI.E.3.03.  

(b)   All Other Employment Discrimination Complaints. When the College receives any complaint of employment discrimination other than sexual harassment or sexual violence, the Human Resources Department promptly and impartially investigates the complaint. This investigation will at least include interviews of the complainant and the respondent and may also include witness interviews. All actions taken to investigate and resolve complaints through this procedure shall be conducted with as much privacy, discretion, and confidentiality as possible without compromising the investigation’s thoroughness and fairness.  

(c)    Complaint Processing and Handling Procedures. The General Counsel will develop procedures and forms to comply with this policy subject to the approval of the Chancellor or a designee.  

IV.F.4.04 College Community Member Responsibilities

Each College community member helps ensure that no other community member suffers workplace sexual harassment or unlawful discrimination by fully cooperating in any related investigation.

Any College community member who witnesses an incident constituting unlawful discrimination in employment or who otherwise becomes aware of such an incident should immediately notify the Chief Human Resources Officer.

Any person who observes, or is victim to, an incident that may constitute sexual harassment, sexual violence, or other unlawful discrimination based on sex should immediately notify the Title IX Coordinator and the Chief Human Resources Officer.

IV.F.4.05 Educational Setting

This policy acknowledges academic freedom. Faculty and students participating in the educational setting, however, bear a responsibility to balance academic responsibilities and freedoms with a consideration of other participants’ reasonable sensitivities. In the exercise of academic freedom, the faculty member may, without limitation, discuss his or her own discipline in the classroom; he or she may not, however, rightfully claim the privilege of persistently discussing in the classroom any matter not related to the course subject. In extramural utterances, faculty members have an obligation to not represent themselves as an institutional representative, unless so designated by his or her supervising President.  

IV.F.4.06 No Employment Retaliation for Employment Discrimination Complaints

Employment retaliation against any individual for making a sexual harassment or unlawful discrimination complaint, or for assisting in the investigation of such a complaint is unlawful and will not be tolerated. Any acts of retaliation will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, such as, but not limited to reprimand, change in work assignment, loss of privileges, mandatory training, employment suspension, or immediate discharge as outlined in Board Policy IV.F.13.

Incidents of unlawful retaliation should be referred to the Human Resources Department (HR-compliance@lonestar.edu) for investigation and will be investigated in the same manner as claims of employment discrimination.

IV.F.4.07 State and Federal Agencies

Students and employees who believe they may have been subjected to sexual harassment, sexual violence or unlawful discrimination may file a formal complaint with either or both of the government agencies below.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Mickey Leland Federal Building

1919 Smith Street, 6th Floor

Houston, Texas 77002-8049   

 

Texas Workforce Commission

1117 Trinity Street, Room 144T

Austin, Texas 78778  

Students and employees who believe they may have been subjected to sexual discrimination including sexual harassment or sexual violence may wish to file a complaint with local law enforcement.  Filing a criminal complaint will not preclude any student from participating in an informal or formal grievance process as required under Title IX.

Using the College’s grievance or complaint processes does not prohibit an employee or student from filing a complaint with these agencies.

IV.F.4.08 Compliance and Training

The College expects the General Counsel, the Title IX Coordinator, and the Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources to coordinate efforts to comply with this policy, and conduct any investigation within the specific requirements of the following laws:  

(a)   Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended, and its implementing regulations;  

(b)   Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended, and its implementing regulations;  

(c)    The Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, and its implementing regulations; and  

(d)   Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, as amended, and its implementing regulations.  

The College shall provide training consistent with Texas and federal law to:  

(a)   New and existing employees regarding their protections under federal and state discrimination laws and the College’s related policies and complaint procedures; and  

(b)   Supervisory personnel and all employees regarding the College’s non-discrimination obligations.    

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on December 4, 2015 

IV.F.5. Prohibited Harassment

(Incorporated within Section F.4 above)

LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on December 2, 2010

IV.F.6. Employee Safety and Health: Hazard Communication

IV.F.6.01 - Employee Safety/Health

The System recognizes the importance of health and safety of its employees, and will provide a safe and healthful environment in which to work. Employees are required to participate in safety programs and to observe all health and safety rules, regulations and instructions established by the System and College.

IV.F.6.02 - Responsibility

All employees are responsible for incorporating safety in their daily activities. All supervisors are responsible for ensuring that each employee is trained and understands his or her particular job and all health and safety requirements.

Each department must meet all applicable rules and standards imposed by law and be responsible for developing a set of safety rules, policies, and regulations that pertain to its particular operations.

All on-the-job illnesses and injuries, property damage and unsafe conditions must be reported to the supervisor immediately.

Each employee required to drive a System vehicle must possess a valid and appropriate license. The supervisor must certify that the employee is capable of operating all motor-powered and self-propelled equipment required in the performance of the employee's work.

Safety and loss control is the responsibility of each System employee. The System shall provide health and safety programs including but not limited to facilities inspection, emergency evacuation, hazard classification and environmental protection, in accordance with appropriate state and federal requirements.

IV.F.6.03 - Smoking Prohibited

The System prohibits smoking inside any of its buildings, owned or leased, including offices, classrooms, restrooms, hallways and elevators.

Each campus or facility owned or controlled by LSCS will post no-smoking signs at each public entrance and at other strategic locations.

Each campus or facility owned or controlled by LSCS will designate smoking areas not closer than within twenty-five (25) feet of the entrances to the buildings.

 

LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on August 7, 2008

IV.F.7. Performance Evaluations

IV.F.7.01 - Professional and Support Staff

In order to assist with the measurement of past contribution over a given time period, and provide feedback to improve performance, each supervisor shall conduct and document an evaluation review with each full-time employee. The evaluation discussion shall focus on the employee's success in meeting the goals set for the evaluation period, documenting factual achievements, difficulties, and setting goals relevant to the position.

IV.F.7.02 - Performance Evaluation Intervals

Each employee shall be provided a first performance evaluation within six (6) months of commencing employment with the System. Thereafter, the non faculty employee shall receive an annual performance evaluation.

IV.F.7.03 - Review of Performance Evaluation

The evaluator for each employee shall be that employee's immediate supervisor, and each performance evaluation shall be forwarded to the second level supervisor (department head, division manager, dean, LEO, etc.) for approval, before being placed in the employee's official personnel file.

IV.F.7.04 - Performance Evaluation Criteria

The evaluation form will assess the employee's performance by measuring specific objective criteria, and will also include a space for the supervisor's narrative regarding the employee's efforts, interest and performance during the evaluation period. The evaluation process shall be marked by fairness and objectivity, and each evaluating supervisor shall provide each employee an honest and unbiased assessment of his or her performance, including aspects of strength, areas in need of improvement, and goals for the upcoming evaluation period. The employee is to be considered an integral part of the evaluation process. As such, the supervisor shall schedule a performance review with each employee during the evaluation period to discuss the supervisor's evaluation. This review affords the employee an opportunity to discuss the strengths and shortcomings reflected in the evaluation. Employee feedback is encouraged at that time.

IV.F.7.05 - Employee Review Conference

The evaluation form includes a space for the employee to write a brief statement or response, at the employee's election. At the end of the evaluation conference, the evaluation form shall be signed by the employee and the supervisor, as evidence of the performance review conference. A copy of the signed evaluation form shall be given to the employee, a copy may be kept by the supervisor, and a copy is to be placed in the employee's official personnel file.

IV.F.7.06 - Faculty Assessment

According to established procedures, each member of the faculty shall prepare and review with their dean or manager a self-evaluation of his or her performance, effectiveness and goals as they relate to the responsibilities and priorities of the program or department. Since instruction is the primary responsibility of teaching faculty, the assessment will focus on instruction, curriculum development, and continuing professional development, along with the other components of faculty responsibility: institutional service and community service. Non teaching faculty will be assessed with a focus on their job responsibilities.

IV.F.7.07 - Purpose of the Faculty Assessment

The specific purposes of the faculty evaluation process are to:

  1. Gather information to be used by each faculty member for his or her professional development;
  2. Improve communication between faculty and manager in the area of performance;
  3. Encourage faculty members whose performance is exemplary, and provide guidance and assistance to faculty members whose performance needs improvement; and
  4. Collect information to be used in employment/contract status decisions.

IV.F.7.08 - Administrative Staff

Each administrator shall participate with his/her supervisor in a performance and self-appraisal plan each year. The appraisal process shall be self-evaluative in nature. The supervisor's responsibility shall be to critique and react to the performance ratings submitted by the employee. The System will periodically solicit feedback from the faculty and other employees regarding their experience with various administrators, for purposes of encouraging more effective self-evaluation and professional development planning.

IV.F.7.09 - Administrative Review of Evaluation

Any employee may request an administrative review of his or her evaluation if he or she disagrees with the content of the evaluation, or believes that it was conducted in a manner that violates this policy.

LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on August 7, 2008

IV.F.8. Change in Contract Status

IV.F.8.01 Policy

The College has various types of employment contracts with many of its employees.  The policy below addresses the modification, extension, and non-renewal of employment contracts in a fair manner that complies with local, state, and federal law.

IV.F.8.02 Definitions

(a)               Change in Contract Status: A change in contract status occurs when a President, Vice Chancellor, or Chief Area Officer reporting directly to the Chancellor, recommends a change in a subordinate’s employment contract status. It can also occur when the Chancellor recommends a change in a direct-report’s employment contract status. Change in contract status can take one of three forms:   1.      The return to an annual contract in the subsequent academic year in the case of a faculty member or administrator on a multiple-year contract.   2.      The continuation of an annual contract in the subsequent academic year in the case of a faculty member or administrator on an annual contract but who has, since execution of that annual contract, become eligible for a multiple-year contract.   3.      The non-renewal of either an annual or multiple-year contract in the subsequent academic year.  

(b)               Notice: Notice of intention to effectuate a change in contract status as defined in the section above shall be given by the Chancellor on or before March 1st preceding the end of the contract term fixed in the current contract—provided the employee was employed before March 1st. The Board may employ the contractual employee in the same capacity for the succeeding academic year if the Chancellor fails to provide the March 1st notice. This process is not valid in the event that the Board of Trustees takes action for a reduction in force. 

IV.F.8.03 Appealing a Contractual Change of Status Recommendation  

The appeal of a Notice depends on the employee’s position at the time the contractual employee received the Notice.  

(a)   Vice Chancellor, President, or Chief Area Officers.   An employee who has received notice of a proposed change of status will have up to 20 working days to appeal a contractual change of status recommendation made by the Chancellor to the Board of Trustees. The request for an appeal presentation must be made to the Board Liaison. The affected employee will have 30 minutes to explain his/her basis for why the change in status should not be upheld.  The Chancellor will also have 30 minutes to explain the basis for the recommendation.  No cross-examination will be permitted by either side, although the Board members may ask questions of the affected employee and the Chancellor.  The Board will decide whether to uphold the Chancellor’s recommendation.  Such decision will be made at the meeting at which the presentation is made or at a subsequent meeting which has been properly posted in accordance with the Open Meetings Act.  

(b)   All Other Contractual Employees.   From the date of receipt of the Notice the affected employee will have up to 20 working days to appeal a contractual change of status recommendation to the Office of the Chancellor.       The Chancellor’s review will include a personal meeting with the affected employee and   the recommending President, Vice Chancellor, or Chief Area Officer reporting directly to             the Chancellor. The President, Vice Chancellor, or Chief Area Officer will have 30 minutes          to explain the basis for the initial recommendation and provide any documentation.  The affected employee will then have 30 minutes to explain his/her basis for why the change in contract status should not be upheld by the Chancellor and will also have the opportunity to provide supporting documentation. Neither the supervisor, nor the affected employee, may cross-examine or question each other during their respective 30 minutes. The Chancellor will notify the affected employee no later than 15 working days following receipt of the appeal of the Notice. The employee may directly appeal to the Board if the employee alleges a violation of the Lone Star College Board Policy Manual as defined in Section IV.F.10.06. The Chancellor will forward to the Board of Trustees all accepted recommendations and recommendations not appealed. The process permitted by this policy constitutes a grievance for purposes of Texas Education Code Section 51.960.    

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on December 4, 2015 

IV.F.9. Resignation by Contract Employee

IV.F.9.01 - Resignation

Any contractual employee may relinquish his or her position, and leave the employment of the System at the end of the contract term, without penalty, so long as the letter of resignation is submitted prior to August 1 of the academic year in which the employee resigns. A letter of resignation is submitted as of the date of mailing, if sent to the Chancellor by United States certified mail, with sufficient postage.

The employee may resign with the consent of the Board at any time mutually agreeable.

The Chancellor shall have authority to accept resignations. Exceptions to the deadline requirement may be granted in extenuating circumstances.

LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on August 7, 2008

IV.F.10. Employee Grievance and Review Process

IV.F.10.01 Policy

This policy establishes a fair and uniform process for resolving employee grievances that exceeds state and federal laws. Employees who use this process may do so without facing discrimination or retaliation. This policy nurtures an employee culture that values and respects all employees by encouraging early collaboration and resolution of employee concerns.  

IV.F.10.02 Definitions

(a)               Grievant. Grievant means the employee who initiates the procedures set forth in this policy.  

(b)               Working Days. Working days means the College’s business days. In calculating timelines under this policy, the day a document is filed is “day zero.” The following business day is “day one.”  

IV.F.10.03 Who May Bring A Grievance

Individual employees may submit grievances on behalf of themselves or multiple affected employees as an associational grievance.  

IV.F.10.04 Serial Grievances  

A grievant may not submit separate or serial grievances regarding the same issue. This includes grievances brought under another policy or procedure.    

IV.F.10.05 Exclusions

The following concerns are not subject to this grievance policy and are addressed in other policies:  

(a)                  Termination of contractual employees. See Policy IV.F.10.13.  

(b)                  Change in contract status. See Policy IV.F.8.03.

(c)                  Employee performance evaluations—before exhaustion of the procedure set out in Policy IV.F.7.09. Applicable time limits set forth in this grievance policy begin to run on the date that Policy IV.F.7.09 is exhausted.

(d)                   Allegations of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, except for allegations of retaliation for filing or participating in a non-discrimination or harassment grievance.  That procedure is in Section IV.F. of this policy manual. An employee disciplined following an investigation may use this policy to challenge the disciplinary action.  

(e)                  Reduction in Force Terminations. See Policy IV.F.12.01.  

(f)                   Challenges to ownership of intellectual property before exhaustion of the procedure set out in Policy IV.D.9.05.  The time limits set forth in IV.F.10.09 begin on the date the procedure set out in Policy IV.D.9.05 has been exhausted.       

IV.F.10.06 Appeal to the Board for Alleged Policy Violations

An employee may appeal the Chancellor’s decision to the Board of Trustees if the employee alleges a procedural irregularity in the decision that violates this policy manual. The policy section applicable to the challenged decision must directly reference this section for the decision to be appealable to the Board.   If a grievance does not involve an allegation of a violation of Board policy or an allegation of a violation of the grievance process, the grievant may present the grievance at the Citizen Participation portion of a Board meeting in accordance with Board Policy I.E.1.43.  

IV.F.10.07 Right to Representation

At all informal or formal grievance or appeal levels, the grievant and/or the administration may be represented, including by legal counsel, provided that the selected representative does not claim the right to strike.  The College will not pay any fees or expenses for the grievant’s representation. The grievance and appeal conferences held at all levels of the grievance process are informal conferences and no cross-examination of any person who attends the conference is allowed. The College’s administrator handling the conference may ask questions to get information to help in reaching a decision. The grievant’s representative may assist the grievant.  

IV.F.10.08 Informal Resolution

The Board encourages employees to discuss their concerns, complaints, and grievances through informal conferences with their supervisor or other appropriate administrator. Concerns should be expressed as soon as possible to allow early resolution at the lowest possible administrative level.  An employee or group of employees who has a concern or grievance shall participate in an alternative dispute resolution process in an attempt to resolve the concern prior to presenting a formal grievance. Employees will be provided information on the alternative dispute resolution processes available. If the concern is not resolved by participating in such an informal resolution process, the employee can use the formal grievance process described below.  

IV.F.10.09 Presentation of Formal Grievance

An employee who has a concern that has not been resolved through participation in the informal resolution process may file a formal grievance. Campus employees must file their grievance with their supervisory campus vice president. System Office employees must file their grievance with their respective associate vice chancellor or chief area officer. For assistance in determining to whom a formal grievance must be presented, a copy of the College’s current organizational chart can be found at http://org.lonestar.edu/orgchart/LSCS-Internal030115.htm.  

The initial grievance must be filed with the grievant’s respective supervisor identified in the prior paragraph within 15 working days from the event, occurrence, or conclusion of the informal resolution process, whichever is later. Only in extraordinary circumstances will the respective supervisor consider exceptions to the 15 working day limit. The grievance must be made in writing and must include all supporting documentation the grievant wants considered. The grievant will be allowed to submit additional information in response to any information collected and relied upon by the vice president or associate vice chancellor/chief area officer. The Chancellor will be notified when a formal grievance has been filed.  

The vice president or associate vice chancellor/chief area officer must confirm in writing receipt of the grievance within three working days.   A grievance conference must be held within ten working days of receipt of the grievance.  A decision must be rendered by the vice president or associate vice chancellor/chief area officer within five working days after the grievance conference. The written decision shall set forth the basis of the decision and any additional information or documents obtained after the grievance conference. In reaching a decision, the vice president or associate vice chancellor/chief area officer may consider the information presented at the grievance conference, and any other relevant documents or information he/she believes will help resolve the complaint.  

The timelines set out above may be extended by mutual consent of the parties.  

IV.F.10.10 First Level Appeal

In the event that the grievance has not been resolved or the timeframe has elapsed without the grievance being addressed or a decision rendered, the grievant may present the grievance to the college president or, for System office grievants, their vice chancellor in the form of a written appeal. A written appeal must be presented within ten (10) working days from receipt of the vice president or associate vice chancellor/chief area officer’s decision. It is the responsibility of the grievant to initiate the appeal and to provide to the president or vice chancellor all documentation, including any correspondence about the grievance with the vice president or associate vice chancellor/chief area officer, and the vice president or associate vice chancellor/chief area officer’s decision. The employee may submit additional information in response to any information collected and relied upon by the vice president or associate vice chancellor/chief area officer.

Within three (3) working days of receiving the appeal, the president/vice chancellor must confirm receipt of the grievance and provide a brief summary of the grievance to the Chancellor who will then immediately forward the summary to each member of the Board’s Grievance Committee. A grievance appeal conference must be held within ten (10) working days of receipt of the grievance. A written decision must be rendered by the president/vice chancellor within five (5) working days after the grievance appeal conference. The written decision shall set forth the basis of the decision and any additional information or documents obtained after the appeal conference.   

In reaching a decision, the president/vice chancellor may consider the information presented at the grievance conference, and any other relevant documents or information the president/vice chancellor believes will help resolve the complaint.  

The timelines set out above may be extended by mutual written consent of the parties.

IV.F.10.11 Second Level Appeal

In the event that the grievance has not been resolved or the timeframe has elapsed without the grievance being addressed or a decision rendered, the grievant may present the grievance to the Chancellor in the form of a written appeal. A written appeal must be presented within ten (10) working days from receipt of the president/vice chancellor’s decision. It is the responsibility of the grievant to initiate the appeal and to provide all documentation, including any correspondence with the president or vice-chancellor and the president or vice chancellor’s decision to the Chancellor or his/her designee. The grievant may submit additional information in response to any information collected and relied upon by the president or vice chancellor.  

The Chancellor, or his/her designee, must confirm receipt of the grievance within three (3) working days and provide a brief summary of the grievance to each member of the Board’s Grievance Committee. A Second Level Appeal conference must be held within ten (10) working days of receipt of the grievance. A decision must be rendered by the Chancellor, or his/her designee, within five (5) working days of the Second Level Appeal conference. The written decision shall set forth the basis of the decision, and any additional information or documentation obtained after the Second Level Appeal conference.  In reaching a decision, the Chancellor, or his/her designee, may consider the information presented at the Second Level Appeal conference, and any other relevant documents or information the Chancellor or designee believes will help resolve the grievance.  The grievant shall be given three (3) days to respond to any documents or information considered by the Chancellor or his or her designee not previously provided to the grievant. If the Chancellor chooses a designee to consider the grievance, the designee may not be a supervisor of the grievant and may not have been involved in the grievance prior to designation by the Chancellor.  

The timelines set out above may be extended by mutual written consent of the parties.  

IV.F.10.12 Appeal to the Board

If the grievance is still unresolved and it involves an allegation of violation of a Board policy, as defined earlier in Policy IV.F.10.6, including a violation of the grievance policy, the grievance may be appealed to the Board of Trustees.  An Appeal to the Board must be made in writing and must be received in the Chancellor’s office no later than ten (10) working days of receipt of the Chancellor’s, or his/her designee’s, decision and must be accompanied by applicable references to the policy manual or the portion(s) of the Grievance policy that are alleged to have been violated.  It is the responsibility of the grievant to initiate the appeal to the Board and to provide all documentation to the Board, including any correspondence with the prior administrators who heard the grievance at the various levels and those administrators’ decisions.  

The Chancellor’s office shall acknowledge receipt of the appeal and shall forward a copy to each Board member, along with all accompanying documentation, within five (5) working days of the appeal being received in the System Office.  

The Board will consider the grievance, in accordance with the Open Meetings Act, at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting that is scheduled to occur at least 15 working days after the appeal to the Board is received in the System Office.  

The Board shall set a reasonable time limit for presenting the Appeal to the Board, based on the information presented to the Board and allocating equal time to the grievant and the College. Appeals to the Board will be heard in closed session, unless the grievant specifically elects to have it heard in open session. Regardless of the grievant’s election to have the appeal heard in open session, if the grievance is against another employee, that other employee may elect to have the appeal heard in closed session.  

The Board may make a decision, but is not required to do so. If the Board does not make a decision, the decision of the Chancellor, or his/her designee, is upheld. If the Board elects to render a decision, the decision will be announced orally before the meeting adjourns and a written decision will be mailed to the employee and the Chancellor within 30 calendar days.  

LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on November 5, 2015  

IV.F.10.13 Contractual Termination Notice and Appeal

An employment contract with the College creates a property interest in the position solely for the contract’s period of time. A contractual employee terminated during a contract term is entitled to a pre-termination notice and pre-termination appeal under this policy.  

a.          Pre-termination Notice: A contractual employee’s supervising President, Vice-Chancellor, or Chief Area Officer reporting directly to the Chancellor, must deliver a Notice of Forthcoming Termination providing notice of the charges raised against the employee, the nature of the evidence supporting those charges, and an opportunity for the employee to respond in writing.  

Or in the case of a President, Vice Chancellor, or Chief Area Officer reporting directly to the Chancellor, if the Chancellor intends to propose the termination of a contractual employee who is a direct report to the Chancellor the Chancellor will deliver a Notice of Forthcoming Termination providing notice of the charges raised against the employee, the nature of the evidence supporting those charges, and an opportunity for the employee to respond in writing. The contractual employee shall have five working days to respond to the Notice of Forthcoming Termination before it is converted to a Notice of Recommended Termination. If an employee has not already been placed on administrative leave, the Notice of Recommended Termination shall also automatically place the employee on paid administrative leave during the pendency of any appeal.  

Either category of contractual employee shall have five working days to respond to the Notice of Forthcoming Termination before it is converted to a Notice of Recommended Termination. If an employee has not already been placed on administrative leave, the Notice of Recommended Termination shall also automatically place the employee on paid administrative leave during the pendency of any appeal. If no appeal is filed, the Notice of Recommended Termination will automatically become a Notice of Termination on the 16th day following receipt of the Notice of Recommended Termination. The Board of Trustees delegates to the Chancellor the authority to terminate an employee’s employment in such a situation.  

b.         Pre-termination Appeal: That contractual employee has the right to request a hearing once his or her supervisor delivers a written Notice of Recommended Termination. That contractual employee must file a written request with the Chancellor within 15 working days after receiving that Notice of Recommended Termination. The written request for an appeal must specify whether the employee elects a representative. A contractual employee may elect to use legal representation during a pre- termination proceeding in the notice phase or in the appeal phase. The contractual employee is responsible for the costs of such representation.  

1.         Appeal: The contractual employee will have an opportunity to present evidence before the Chancellor alleging the termination is without cause, and/or would violate state or federal law. The Board of Trustees will hear any appeal from a President, Vice Chancellor, or Chief Area Officer. Every reference to “the Chancellor” below, as it relates to a President, Vice Chancellor, or Chief Area Officer should be interpreted to mean “the Board of Trustees” when the contractual employee being recommended for termination is a President, Vice Chancellor, or Chief Area Officer reporting directly to the Chancellor at the time of the Chancellor’s recommended termination. Likewise, every reference to the President, Vice Chancellor, or Chief Area Officer below should be interpreted to mean the Chancellor when the subject contractual employee is a President, Vice Chancellor or Chief Area Officer reporting directly to the Chancellor.  

2.         Hearing Date: A hearing shall take place within thirty (30) working days after the employee files a written request for such hearing with the Chancellor.  

3.         Hearing Records: The employee and the employee’s President, Vice-Chancellor, or Chief Area Officer reporting to the Chancellor, will submit to the Chancellor a one-page statement identifying their concerns in employee’s continued employment. If the employee chooses to present witnesses at the pre-termination appeal hearing, then the employee may present individual witnesses during the hearing and copies of all documentation relied upon and in support of their position. At least ten (10) working days prior to the hearing, both the employee and the employee’s President, Vice- Chancellor, or Chief Area Officer shall furnish at least three copies of the hearing records, the names of witnesses, and name of any representative, to the Chancellor. The Chancellor will review only the hearing records submitted by the employee and his or her President, Vice Chancellor, or Chief Area Officer reporting directly to the Chancellor, and upon convening the hearing, invite responses to certain questions in order to reach a decision.  

4.         Time Allocation: Both the employee and the employee’s President, Vice Chancellor, or Chief Area Officer reporting to the Chancellor, recommending the termination will each have at least thirty (30) minutes to present to the Chancellor. During the 30 minutes, the employee and the recommending supervisor may present their respective positions regarding the termination recommendation, including presentation of witnesses. This process does not provide for any cross- examination of the witnesses, or questioning of the employee and/or employee’s supervisor, or designee, from the other party or his or her representatives. The Chancellor will have thirty (30) minutes in which to question the parties present at the hearing, including witnesses.  

5.         Decision: The Chancellor will make a decision within fifteen (15) working days of the hearing. The decision of the Chancellor shall be final—except where the employee alleges a procedural irregularity that violates the Lone Star College System Board Policy Manual and is therefore appealable to the Board of Trustees under Section IV.F.10.06. The Board of Trustees delegates to the Chancellor the authority to terminate an employee’s employment where no allegation of procedural irregularity is made.  

6.         Representation: The employee may choose to have a representative at the hearing. The employee shall bear his or her own costs of any such representation.  

7.         Notice of Representation: The employee or his or her representative, including the legal representative, must provide at least ten (10) working days’ notice of such representation prior to any hearing under this section. The College’s General Counsel or a designee must be present at the hearing.  

8.         Prohibition on Using College Resources: The employee and his or her Representative, including the legal representative, shall not meet during the employee’s working hours when preparing for the employee’s pre-termination notice response or hearing and shall not use the College’s resources when preparing for either.  

9.         Modification: The Chancellor and his or her designee may modify the pre-termination hearing procedures upon written notice to the requesting employee and prior to the Hearing Date.  

IV.F.10.14  Timeliness

The time limits, as provided in this policy, are created in order to ensure that issues are raised and addressed promptly. Timelines for the filing of and response to an appeal may be extended by the mutual agreement of the employee and the Chancellor’s Office. An appeal shall be considered resolved at the completion of any step, if all parties are satisfied or if neither party files a timely appeal to the next step. The process permitted by this policy constitutes a grievance for purposes of Texas Education Code Section 51.960.  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on December 3, 2015

                                                                                                                                                                         LSCS Policy Manual Section IV.F.10.10 First Level Appeal updated by the Board of Trustees on February 4, 2016

IV.F.11. Corrective Action and Discipline

IV.F.11.01 - Definition

Corrective Action refers to a management approach to solving performance problems by emphasizing solutions to the problem(s), and by the appropriate use of progressive discipline.

IV.F.11.02 - Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to:

  1. Guide supervisors through effective problem-solving, and to enforce System and College policies and procedures;
  2. Help employees overcome work-related shortcomings, and where practicable, strengthen performance; and
  3. Help supervisors identify and terminate an employee who is not performing adequately after appropriate counseling.

Nothing in this policy creates a contract or property right for non-contractual employees, and this policy does not alter in any way the employment-at-will status of non-contractual employees.

IV.F.11.03 - Exceptions to this Policy

These recommended practices are not required to be used prior to placing an employee on paid leave pending the outcome of an investigation or of a medical evaluation. Likewise, these recommended practices are not required prior to taking an action of immediate discharge, if it is called for pursuant to the "Discharge of Employees" Section of Chapter IV. Human Resources, Board Policy Manual.

IV.F.11.04 - Levels of Corrective Action

When it is necessary to use corrective action, the immediate supervisor is responsible for: (a) discussing the issue(s) with the employee; (b) documenting appropriate action; (c) ensuring that the action is, reasonable and explained to the employee; and (d) giving the employee a reasonable amount of time to correct performance.

In most instances, the following steps will be taken to solve performance problems:

  1. a. The initial meeting is between a supervisor and an employee to identify performance problems, and indicate areas of needed improvement. A record of the discussion is created by the manager after it has taken place with documentation of issues and resolutions discussed at meeting. A record of this discussion is given to the employee and a copy maintained by the employee's supervisor.
  2. b. Disciplinary Action: A formal meeting between the supervisor and employee, called by the supervisor to discuss serious performance problems, or lack of improvement from an initial meeting at which the supervisor will:
    1. Identify the problem to be corrected and the performance or conduct standard to be met;
    2. Identify ways in which the employee might correct the problem;
    3. State the consequences if the problem is not corrected; and
    4. Create a written record of the Disciplinary Action after the meeting.

IV.F.11.05 - Corrective Action Procedures

Post meeting documentation of the Disciplinary Action is to be prepared by the supervisor, A copy is provided to the employee and submitted to System OfficeHR.. The employee's signature indicates receipt of the document, but not agreement with the contents. The employee may attach a personal statement to the Disciplinary Action memorandum if submitted within five (5) calendar days of the receipt of the document.

IV.F.11.06 - Discharge

Failure by the employee to correct the identified problem, as required in a Disciplinary Action, is grounds for discharge.

IV.F.11.07 - Decision-Making Leave

Decision-Making Leave is leave granted for the balance of the employee's shift (not to exceed eight scheduled hours of work) for the employee to decide whether to correct performance problems and continue working for the System. This step usually follows a Disciplinary Action meeting at which action to correct an identified problem was required of, and discussed with, the employee.

The purpose of the Decision-Making Leave is to provide an employee with a final opportunity to correct a serious performance or work habit problem.

If the employee returns from the Decision-Making Leave having made the decision to work towards meeting performance standards, the supervisor shall prepare documentation describing the meeting between supervisor and employee and the expectations of changes in the employee's performance. If the employee does not return from leave, or communicates the decision to quit, a similar memorandum should be prepared, summarizing the Decision-Making Leave as part of the discharge procedure. The employee will be considered to have resigned voluntarily.

LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on August 7, 2008

IV.F.12. Reduction in Force

IV.F.12.01 - Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish a process by which the System will seek and obtain Board approval to eliminate positions in its work force, as a result of changes in the System's financial resources, due to forces outside of the System's control, such as:

  1. Legislative or executive action by the State or Federal government that reduces funds on which the System has based its budget planning;
  2. A significant loss in enrollment or incapacity to charge tuition, resulting from the loss of student financial aid, destruction of System instructional or other facilities by catastrophic weather, acts of terrorism, or other unexpected and catastrophic event; or
  3. Destruction of property in the System that results in a sudden and unexpected decrease in tax revenue.

IV.F.12.02 - Hearing on Proposed Reduction in Force

The Chancellor is responsible for preparing and submitting to the Board of Trustees a proposed Reduction in Force (RIF) stating the reason for the recommendation, the number of employees who will be laid off, the criteria for selection of employees to be laid off, and the proposed time lines for the RIF. The Board of Trustees shall conduct a hearing on the proposed RIF, based on the Chancellor's recommendation. At least one representative of the employee group that will be laid off shall be permitted to address the board regarding a proposed RIF. The Board may establish reasonable time limits for such employee comments.

IV.F.12.03 - Consideration of RIF Affecting Faculty

Prior to recommending a reduction in the full-time faculty, the Chancellor shall consider:

  1. Reduction of teaching contracts from 12-month or 10.5 months to 9 months;
  2. Reassignment of some faculty to other teaching fields, if qualified, and provided that an open position exists;
  3. Reducing the teaching load, and assigning administrative responsibilities, if available, provided that such assignment does not exceed two years;
  4. Transferring some faculty to other locations, provided that a comparable position is available;
  5. Reduction of adjunct faculty;
  6. Reduction of class size, if the average for affected department is above the System average.

IV.F.12.04 - Proposal of RIF Affecting Faculty

Once a reduction in force of faculty is proposed by the Chancellor, a proposal of reduction shall be submitted to each Faculty Senate by the Chancellor with an invitation to each Faculty Senate to submit a written response.

IV.F.12.05 - Notice to Contractual Employees

When it is proposed to lay off contractual employees as a result of a RIF, the Chancellor shall make every reasonable effort, consistent with the need to maintain sound educational programs, and within the limits of available resources, to give twelve months' notice to multi-year contractual employees, and three months notice to one-year employees.

IV.F.12.06 - Re-Employment/Restoration of Benefits - Contractual Employees

The System shall not offer a new contract of employment to a new contractual employee within eighteen months after notification of intent to terminate a contractual employee under this policy, unless the contractual employee who was laid off through a RIF has been notified by certified mail and failed to accept or reject the re-employment offer within fifteen (15) calendar days of notification.

IV.F.12.07 - Contractual Employee Reinstatement

A contractual employee who has been laid off as a result of a RIF, and is re-employed within eighteen months, shall be reinstated as a contract employee.

A contractual employee who is recalled within eighteen months shall have his or her sick leave or personal leave restored at the same amount as were recorded as of the effective date of his or her lay off.

IV.F.12.08 - Request for Review - Contractual Employees

Within ten (10) calendar days after receiving a notice of discharge as a result of the RIF, a contractual employee may request in writing a review of the action by the Board of Trustees. Review will be solely to determine whether the decision to layoff the employee constituted prohibited discrimination or retaliation, or was arbitrary and capricious.

The Board of Trustees shall consider the request, and shall grant a hearing if it determines:

  1. that the request contains a bona fide contention that the decision to layoff the employee constituted prohibited discrimination, retaliation, or arbitrary and capricious conduct; and
  2. that the facts suggested, if established, might support the contention.

A denial of the request finally confirms the decision of discharge/layoff, and the Board shall so notify the employee.

IV.F.12.09 - Review Hearing Procedures - Contractual Employees

If the request for a hearing is granted, a hearing shall be held within thirty (30) days. The employee shall be given at least five (5) days' notice of the hearing.

The hearing shall be held in a closed meeting, with only the members of the Board, the employee, and his or her representative (if any), the Chancellor, and such witnesses as may be called, in attendance. An employee may request that the hearing be held open, but the Board may close the meeting if the employee's presentation will make reference to other employees of the System or as otherwise appropriate under the Texas Open Meetings Act. The Board may consider evidence it considers fair and reliable at the hearing.

After presentations by the employee, the Chancellor, or their representatives, and also by any witnesses called by either side, the Board may deliberate on the matter in executive session, unless the employee requests them to deliberate in public.

The Board shall vote in public session whether to grant or deny the appeal.

IV.F.12.10 - Rights of Non-contractual Employees in a RIF

During a RIF, non-contractual employees will be promptly notified of the proposed layoff so as to allow maximum time for them to seek alternative employment.

Except for employees who are prioritized for layoff in the RIF process due to corrective action or other disciplinary action, an employee who is recommended for layoff as part of a RIF, but is still employed with the System full-time, shall be considered for reassignment to another position in the System, if the employee is qualified to perform the essential functions of such other position. Such full-time employee shall be offered reassignment to the vacant position prior to external advertising of the position. An employee who is given the opportunity for reassignment in lieu of RIF layoff, but declines to accept the vacant position, shall lose the opportunity to be reassigned.

Non-contractual employees who are rehired after losing a full-time position through a RIF within eighteen months of departure will be re-hired with reinstatement of benefits, if permitted by the State of Texas Employee Retirement System and/or the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.

Nothing in this policy creates a contract or property right for non-contractual employees, and this policy does not alter in any way the employment-at-will status of non-contractual employees.

IV.F.12.11 - Continuation of Benefits

The Human Resources Department will provide guidelines to affected employees regarding the details of separation, such as Insurance coverage, pension plan; unemployment compensation, etc.

Employees who are laid off during a RIF will be offered the opportunity to continue their health and dental coverage in accordance with the provisions of Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), by paying the established COBRA premium amounts.

LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on August 7, 2008

IV.F.13. Discharge of Employees

IV.F.13.01 - Policy

Any System employee may be discharged by his/her supervisor (subject to the Location Executive Officer  being apprised of, and consented to, the proposed discharge and terms of discharge) for any of, but not limited to, the following reasons which are not intended to be exhaustive and are only listed herein as examples:

  1. Repeated failure to meet established performance standards as put forth in policy F.11;
  2. Failure to comply with official directives or established Board policies;
  3. Violation of the System's criminal background check policy;
  4. Repeated and continued neglect of job responsibilities; or
  5. Failure to comply with the terms and conditions of his/her employment contract.

A non-contractual employee may be discharged with or without reasons and has no due process right of notice and opportunity for a hearing prior to or after a discharge.

The discharge of a contractual employee involves a for cause decision to end the contractual relationship prior to the end of the contract.  The Chancellor and the LSCS General Counsel must be apprised prior to all discharges and the terms thereof relating to contractual employees.

IV.F.13.02 - Discharge for Cause

An employee may be discharged for misconduct, including by way of example (which is non-exhaustive), mistreatment of a subordinate, co-workers, students, misuse of computing or other System resources, or violation of the System's civil rights policies.

Subject to consent of the Location Executive Officer, discharge of an employee shall be on the recommendation of the immediate supervisor as defined within Section F.10.03.  The employee’s immediate supervisor will advise the employee of the current and past misconduct, verbally and in writing, and which form the basis for the employee’s discharge.  The employee’s immediate supervisor should refer to performance issues occurring during the term of the employment relationship for which the employee received notice and the opportunity provided to the employee to correct the problem. Should the employee request in writing, the immediate supervisor shall meet with the employee to discuss the for cause basis for the discharge.  A contractual employee, who is the subject of discharge, will be provided with notice of the reasons for the discharge, set out in sufficient detail to fairly enable him or her to contest the termination during the post-termination hearing under Section F.10.12.

IV.F.13.03 - Immediate Discharge

Any employee may be discharged immediately and without prior warnings, disciplinary action or pre-discharge meeting with his/her supervisor for serious offenses including, but not limited to the following reasons, which are not intended to be exhaustive and are only listed herein as examples:

  1. Serious acts of dishonesty, including misappropriation of System funds, destruction of records to cover up wrongdoing, or misuse of authority;
  2. A violation of the System's drug and alcohol policy;
  3. Violation of the System's criminal background check policy; or
  4. Conduct that jeopardizes the health or safety of System employees, students, or others on System property.

A contractual employee, who is the subject of immediate discharge, will be provided with immediate notice of the reasons for the discharge, set out in sufficient detail to fairly enable him or her to contest their termination during their post-termination hearing under Section F.10.12.

IV.F.13.04 - Suspension with or without Pay

An employee may be suspended from employment without pay, pending further investigation of a matter, including possible official action by outside legal agencies. Should suspension with pay be appropriate, the recommendation must be approved by the Chancellor. There is no time limit for suspension with pay and may be denied at any time by the Chancellor. Suspension with pay should be followed immediately with a thorough investigation of the case to determine the appropriate level of discipline, if any.

During the period of suspension an employee may be required to make himself or herself available for business during normal work hours, and is required to observe System policies, procedures, and standards of conduct.

IV.F.13.05 - Appeal for Contractual Employee

A contractual employee may grieve his or her termination under Section F.10.12.

Entire LSCS Policy Manual Section F.13 adopted by the Board of Trustees on December 2, 2010