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© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0609 Session Objectives Apply progressive discipline steps fairly and consistently Identify laws and policy requirements affecting discipline Conduct effective disciplinary meetings Document disciplinary action properly
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0609 Session Outline Discipline and the law The need for consistency Investigations of disciplinary problems Steps in progressive discipline Disciplinary meetings Documentation of disciplinary actions
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0609 Why Progressive Discipline? Establishes expectations and predictability Applies consequences fairly and consistently Corrects inappropriate behavior and poor performance Helps rehabilitate employees with potential Protects against complaints and lawsuits
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0609 Discipline and the Law EEO laws Consistency and fairness Retaliation Wrongful discharge
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0609 Discipline Policy Provides legal protection Reassures “good” employees Puts potential offenders on notice Protects employees from inappropriate actions of co-workers Gives violators the opportunity to improve
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0609 Employee Handbook Informs employees of policy Advises that the policy will be enforced Allows some flexibility
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0609 Common Discipline Problems Attendance Performance or behavior Safety
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0609 Common Discipline Problems (cont.) Equipment and materials Substance abuse Harassment, fighting, or violence
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0609 Consistency Always follow the company’s progressive discipline policy Respond to all rule violations immediately Use discipline only for genuine violations
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0609 Consistency (cont.) Discipline all similar offenses in the same way Make discipline appropriate to the offense Give the employee an opportunity to correct the problem
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0609 Investigations Make sure you have all the facts Document findings Give workers the chance to explain Interview witnesses
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0609 Foundations of Discipline Questions?
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0609 Progressive Discipline Steps Oral warning Written warning Suspension Termination
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0609 Oral Warnings Meet privately and state the problem clearly Listen to the employee’s explanation Be sure the employee understands the rule Issue the warning and explain the next disciplinary step Agree on an action plan
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0609 Written Warnings For repeated or serious problems Get prior approval from HR State the facts clearly and objectively Include an action plan for improvement Sign and have the employee sign Give the employee a copy and file a copy
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0609 Suspension Confer with HR Meet with the employee Sign the forms Meet with the employee again after suspension Follow up
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0609 Termination Use only as a last resort or for very serious violations Consult with HR and investigate carefully Follow required termination procedures Meet with the employee Document the meeting in a signed report
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0609 Disciplinary Meetings Talk privately and promptly after offense Be calm and objective Let the employee explain
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0609 Disciplinary Meetings (cont.) Determine the facts Emphasize the seriousness of the situation
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0609 Disciplinary Meetings (cont.) Determine the best discipline Agree on a plan of action Document the meeting
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0609 Documenting Discipline Include key information Keep records for as long as policy mandates Remove warnings and other documentation when allowed to give employees a clean slate
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0609 Key Points to Remember Steps in progressive discipline: oral warning, written warning, suspension, and termination Be consistent and follow company policy Help employees correct discipline problems Protect yourself and the organization by documenting disciplinary actions
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