Posted by Tamara
Many Kentucky employees have questions about disciplinary notices.
As a result, HR pros have developed a formal and progressive discipline procedure that involves a combination of verbal and written warnings.
Thanks to the procedure, adopted by most large companies and franchises, firms can assure fair and non-discriminatory discipline and at the same time defend themselves against challenges from fired employees.
The key in many company policies is the provision that employees receive written warnings.
The warnings serve at least two purposes. First, they carry more weight than mere verbal reprimands. Second, their formality provides evidence in the event that an employee should consider his or her termination to be arbitrary or unfair.
The typical policy starts with one or more verbal warnings. If the employee does not correct his or her behavior, a series of written warnings follows. Most company policies declare that if an employee fails to correct the behavior after three written warnings during a certain period (90 days, for example), then he or she will be terminated.
The supervisor should call the worker in for a discussion of the written warning and make clear, in a non-threatening manner, exactly what the consequences will be if he or she does not change. The worker should then be asked to sign the warning. This is not an admission of guilt on the employee’s part, as many fear. Rather, it provides evidence that the matter has been discussed and that the worker clearly understands the situation.
A second supervisor or manager should be present. Having a witness on hand helps to avoid difficult “he said-she said” situations. The first supervisor should request that the worker sign the document. If he or she refuses, then the second supervisor should write on the warning “Discussed with employee on (such and such a date) and employee refused to sign.” In any case, both managers should sign off.
The process was developed in the absence of Kentucky or other state laws, or federal laws, covering the procedure.
In all cases, discipline should always be applied fairly and without discrimination.
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