Effective Strategies to Document Employee Discipline
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Keep your company out of hot water by making sure you have the appropriate documentation when disciplining an employee.Many employers faced with responding to wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation, or related complaints lack the requisite documentation to support disciplinary actions. Documenting employee misconduct and performance issues can support future adverse employment decisions and show that the employer took the necessary and appropriate steps to address and correct any performance or disciplinary issues. This topic will equip managers and human resources professionals with the know-how and tools to create effective documentation that supports negative employment actions taken in response to disciplinary or performance problems. Learn best practices for managing the employee discipline and performance evaluation process. Gain an understanding of documentation basics, such as the type of information that should - and should not - be included in the documentation of disciplinary warnings and performance reviews. Using real-life examples, this course will walk you through the process of drafting effective performance evaluations, performance improvement plans, disciplinary warnings, memos to file, and investigation reports, including disciplinary recommendations. This material is critical for employers to protect their business, ensure that they have established a record of problematic behavior to support any disciplinary action, and defend against administrative charges and lawsuits that challenge the employer's justifications for its actions. As an added bonus, you will better understand how fair and effective documentation can promote more equitable employment decisions, thereby enhancing cooperation and teamwork, and increasing productivity.
AuthorsAnn Knuckles Mahoney, Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. Susan Gross Sholinsky, Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.
Why Document Employee Performance and Disciplinary Matters?
• Legal Considerations
- Preventing Legal Claims
- Successfully Defending Legal Claims
• Operational Considerations
- Ensuring Consistency and Fairness
What to Document?
- Every Infraction?
- Only Major Misconduct?
- Include Both Positive and Corrective Feedback
- Don't Be Afraid to Be Honest
How to Document
• What Information to Include
- Importance of Being Specific
• What Language to Use
- Show Me vs. Tell Me
- Accuracy, Objectivity, and Consistency
• What Language to Avoid
- Avoiding Code Words and Terms
Considerations for Drafting Common Types of Disciplinary and Performance Documents
• Performance Evaluations
• Performance Improvement Plans
• Disciplinary Warnings
• Memos to File
• Investigation Reports and Disciplinary Recommendations