Employee Written Warning


Author: Staff Writer
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Summary: An employee warning letter must not leave anything open to interpretation. Here's how to write it effectively.

Tags: How to Fire an Employee, Employee Written Warning, How to Write a Termination Letter, How to Handle Terminations, How to Handle Company Layoffs

An employee warning letter must not leave anything open to interpretation. Exact and complete, it is a valuable tool not only for disciplinary action but also against negative legal action against your business.

Research First

Before writing the warning letter, ensure you have all available details.

  1. If attendance oriented, have the employee's attendance records available. How many days was the employee late? By how long?

  2. Have departmental and company policies available. Have other employees with the same behavior policy been treated the same way? What has worked to turn a bad situation around for other employees in the past? Were all prior corrective actions outlined by company policy and procedures taken?

  3. Review the employee's history. Is there a prior pattern of behavior? Has the employee been given verbal and/or written warnings repeatedly and temporarily complied (i.e., is the employee "playing the system")? If so, consider either a longer after-action monitor period or termination.

  4. Ensure the written warning is not a retaliatory action against the employee for prior actions against any person or the business.

Be Concise and Consistent

Use a company-approved template for your warning letter. Complete basic areas prior to talking with the employee: job title, prior disciplinary actions, and warning action details.

  • Reinforce positive aspects of the employee's contributions to the company.

  • Exact nature of warning. Delineate instances of detrimental behavior.

  • Exact nature and duration of disciplinary action.

  • Desired outcome.

  • Additional training if necessary.

  • Consequences of non-compliance.

  • Appeal option if allowed by company policy.

Allow your employee to explain or ask questions. If the employee does not write comments in the provided area, note such and initial.

Complete the Warning Interview

When the disciplinary interview is ending, review the proceedings with the employee.

  • Recap the reason for the warning.

  • Standards expected.

  • If allowed, explain again the company's policy and procedure regarding the employee's appeal rights.

  • Tell the employee that a copy will be permanently included in the employee's personnel file.

  • Signatures and dates. Sign and date the letter; have the employee do the same. Should the employee refuse to sign, call in a witness then offer the employee another chance. If he still refuses, have the witness sign and date, confirming the signature offering and refusal.

  • Give a copy of the warning letter to the employee.

  • Place the original warning letter in his personnel file or forward under cover to Human Resources for inclusion.
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Works Cited

The U.S. Department of Labor
Employment Law Guide - Whistleblower and Retaliation Protections
http://www.dol.gov/

Society for Human Resource Managment
Counseling
www.shrm.org/

INC Magazine
How do I write a warning letter to an employee who's performing poorly?, Employment Regulation and Policy Article
http://www.inc.com/







purple arrowCite this Article

"Employee Written Warning." Sophisticated Edge. N.p., n.d. Web. . <http://www.sophisticatededge.com/employee-written-warning.html>.  

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to treat or diagnose any health problems or illnesses without consulting a physician. It is not meant to take the place of health care or services you may need. Please consult a physician with any questions you may have regarding your health.

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