There’s a strong likelihood that some point in time your business is going to be accused of discrimination, retaliation, or wrongful termination. In these circumstances, you’re going to have to be prepared to aggressively defend yourself. But before you get to that point, there are actions that you can implement to protect your business. One of them is a progressive discipline system.
The benefits of progressive discipline
Progressive discipline can have a number of benefits for your business. It can provide consistency and promote open communication with employees. It can also improve productivity and increase employee retention. But most importantly, it can protect your business from allegations of wrongdoing.
How progressive discipline works
Progressive discipline needs to be structured and consistent amongst all employees. Therefore, you may want to set up a system that takes the following steps:
- For minor offenses, start with counseling that informs the employee of the issue and reasserts expectations.
- A verbal warning may be a starting point for more serious offenses and advise the employee that corrective action needs to be taken immediately, informing them that more aggressive disciplinary action may be taken if the issue isn’t remedied.
- A written warning is typically the next step, which creates a paper trail of the issue and puts the employee on notice that even more formal action may be taken if nothing is changed.
- A second warning may come next if the issue still goes unresolved.
- An adverse employment action may be justified if nothing changes after a second written warning.
Find the preventative measures that are right for you and your business
Remember that this is just an example of a progressive discipline system. What is important to keep in mind is that your system needs to be consistent, it needs to put the employee on notice of the issue at hand, give ideas for how to correct the problem, and the employee should be give some time to demonstrate corrective action.
We know that addressing employment law issues can be challenging. But that’s why law firms like ours stand ready to assist you with whatever issue you may be facing.