previous columns I have discussed the reachable past of the Nevada Northern
Railway Museum. There is a piece of that past that I would like to share
with you. In the machine shop mounted on the wall is a circular addressed
to ALL EMPLOYES. At first glance there is nothing special about that
circular except for its date-May 1st 1922. The first line of the circular
is, "Circular No. 63, January 1st, 1918 is canceled.
So for 82 years
this circular has been mounted on the wall of the machine shop. It is
the oldest circular that I have found that is still hanging on the grounds.
Heck, it might be the oldest circular in the country still hanging on
the wall for all we know.
So what did this
circular cover? I suppose, you could think of it, as an early employee
manual. For the second line of the circular explains, "Effective
May 1st 1922, the following system of 'Discipline by Record'will be
placed in effect upon this line." This is the method that the Nevada
Northern used in relations with the employees. What follows is the entire
circular, the spelling and the punctuation is from the original.
Ely, Nevada, May 1st 1922
No. 63, January 1st, 1918, is canceled.
May 1st, 1922, the following system of "Discipline by Record"
will be placed in effect upon this line.
that date each employe in service will start with a clear record. An
individual account will be opened with each employe, in a book kept
especially for that purpose in the office of the Superintendent; an
entry will be make in this book for every case of neglect of duty, violation
of the rules or of good practice, accidents, improper conduct, etc.,
with the discipline determined upon by the Superintendent.
as well as suspensions, for a given number of days will be noted on
the record, although actual suspension is not served by the employe
judgment in emergencies, acts of heroism, loyalty to the service, and
other meritorious conduct, will be made matter of record, and be given
full consideration in determining the standing of the employe. The record
will also be taken into account when the question of promotion in the
service is under consideration.
perfect record will be one against which no unfavorable entry had been
made. A clear record is one on which unfavorable entries have been canceled.
employe may examine his own record, at the Superintendent's office,
during business hours, but the record book will not be open to others,
except Division and General Officers of the Company. If not practicable
for an employe to visit the office, a transcript of his record will
be sent to him upon application.
reprimand or suspension will not be noted against an employe's record
without written notice to him.
suspension will not be made for a period of less than five, nor more
than sixty days.
and suspensions placed against the record of an employe will be canceled
by satisfactory service for various periods, as follows:
reprimand will be canceled by a clear record of three months.
(b) Ten days suspension will be canceled by a clear record four months.
(c) Fifteen days suspension will be canceled by a clear record of
(d) Twenty days suspension will be canceled by a clear record of nine
(e) Thirty days suspension will be canceled by a clear record of one
(f) Forty five days suspension will be canceled by a clear record
of one year and three months.
(g) Sixty days suspension will be canceled by a clear record of one
year and six months.
there shall be an accumulation of suspensions against the record of
any employe aggregating ninety days (after making allowance for cancellations
as indicated above) is shall be considered as cause for dismissal from
dishonesty, desertion, intemperance, immorality, insubordination, incompetency,
willful neglect, gross carelessness, inexcusable violation of rules
resulting in endangering or destroying company property, making false
reports or statements, or concealing facts concerning matters under
investigation will, as heretofore, subject the offender to summary dismissal.
change will be made in the existing practice of consideration of offences
by the Superintendent, and ordinarily, no action will be taken until
investigation is completed. In cases of intoxication on duty, insubordination,
or of vicious conduct, employes will be taken out of the service pending
final decision. All investigations and adjustments of discipline shall
be in accordance with the established rules and agreements at present
governing such matters, and employes are assured of the utmost consideration
consistent with good service and company interests.
will issue bulletin monthly, posting on bulletin boards. These bulletins
are intended to be educational. They will give a brief account of each
case which had resulted in discipline, stating how the trouble or damage
could have been avoided-omitting names of the persons at fault. Employes
are enjoined to study these bulletins with care, that they may profit
by the experience of others.
system of discipline, it is hoped, will prove of mutual advantage to
the company and its employes; those guilty of offences not requiring
dismissal, will not suffer lose of time beyond that required for investigation,
and will be given an opportunity by subsequent good service to clear
operation of the system should engender a feeling of security, in the
confidence that faithful service is recognized and will be rewarded
by uninterrupted employment, and the certainty that reward and promotion
will not follow indifferent service.
company expects the system to promote harmony, and to stimulate employes
to an earnest co-operation with its officers in attaining a more efficient