Best Practices in DocumentingEmployee Discipline
Thadord A. Felton
ARNSTEIN & LEHR LLP120 SOUTH RIVERSIDE PLAZA | SUITE 1200CHICAGO, ILLINOIS 60606P 312.876.6934 | F email@example.com
HERE ARE MANY BENEFITS TO DOCUMENTING employee misconduct. The documentation may help theemployee realize that certain perormance and/or behavior is unacceptable and help that employeechange his/her perormance and/or behavior in the uture. This in turn will lead to less trouble in yourdepartment specifcally and the organization as a whole.Documentation also acts as an "insurance" policy or you and the company. I the employee later challengesan action that had been taken against him/her as a result o poor perormance and/or behavior or flesa grievance or lawsuit, correct documentation can prevent such actions rom continuing beyond thepreliminary stages. To assist you in documenting employee misconduct, set orth below are some best practices to ollow.
Have An Employee Discipline Form.1.
A pre-printed Employee Discipline Form will make documentingemployee misconduct easier or managers and supervisors and it ensures that uniormity is maintainedin the process. The pre-printed fll-in-the-blank orm should, among other things, set orth blanksor basic inormation regarding the employee, the time and date o the incident, a description o theincident or which the employee is being disciplined, the specifc policy or work rule that was violated,and the action that will be taken against the employee. Make sure that the orm is flled out in a legiblemanner and that the person who is completing the orm both prints his/her name and signs his/hername on the orm so that i ollow up is necessary, you will know who to contact.
Conduct A Full And Fair Investigation.2.
Beore you decide to discipline your employee, conduct aull and air investigation o the events that led to the discipline. In certain circumstances it may beappropriate to have someone other than the employee's direct manager or supervisor conduct theinvestigation and/or review the discipline decision. I there were witnesses to the misconduct, talk to those witnesses. Note on the Employee Discipline Form the identity o any such witnesses anddocument what those witnesses had to say in a separate document. Sometimes inormation rom othersources may lead you to reconsider whether discipline is appropriate.
Get The Facts.3.
For employee discipline documentation to be eective, it must be actual. The goal incompleting such documentation is that anyone should be able to read the Employee Discipline Formand get a clear picture o what happened and why the discipline was imposed.
In completing the Employee Discipline Form, it is important to be objective in yourdescription o the incident. Describe the conduct o the employee that led to the discipline, rather than