In our ongoing effort to help companies avoid employment claims, we present another suggested company policy. This article discusses the difficult task of disciplining employees.
There are no specific laws on how to discipline employees. But having a clear discipline policy may be a solid method to protect your company from claims of wrongful termination. In addition to a written discipline policy, each employee should have a clear job description and the company should publish a code of conduct. Employees need to know specifically what is expected of them.
A discipline policy usually includes verbal warnings, written warnings, suspension, and termination. But instead of requiring management to discipline in progressive steps, your policy should be flexible enough to allow you to discipline based on the severity of the incident. You want the ability to fire an employee right away for particularly egregious behavior, and not be required to follow a particular path of discipline.
If you do not have a written discipline policy, one should be implemented. A quick call to competent legal counsel can help guide you through the process. You should also call before each act of discipline, to make sure you are handling the situation properly. We are always here to help. Let’s be proactive together.
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