A 5-step system for progressive discipline.

A progressive discipline system is the best way to correct employee performance problems... and protect against wrongful termination lawsuits. It ensures that anyone fired for performance was treated fairly. Here's a five-step model:

  1. Oral reprimand, issued right after the manager notices the performance problem. Managers must keep detailed notes or prepare a memo to file about the talk.

  2. Written warning. If the problem persists, issue a written warning detailing the problem and consequences. Explain the standards and specify a time frame for performance improvement. Place a copy of the warning in the employee's personnel file.

  3. Final written warning, delivered if performance doesn't improve. Include previous warnings. Indicate specific areas in which the employee...

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