Questions to ask before writing someone up.

Written warnings form the backbone of an effective progressive discipline system and provide the documentation necessary to avoid legal trouble.

While write-ups are essential, they're also potential lightning rods for employee anger and potential landmines should you wind up in court. Before you discipline in writing, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Does the punishment fit the crime? Sending someone home without pay for being 10 minutes late is excessive, unless the tardiness is a repeated violation and the employee has been warned about the consequences. Document all violations.

  2. Did you discuss it first? Talk over the problem before you commit it to writing. It may help you draw a more accurate conclusion. Remember: The first step in...

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