Overview: Employee discipline can improve communication with employees and foster positive outcomes - but only if used effectively. An employee's professional development may be aided by any number of measures, including targeted employee training and development or a referral to counseling. However, disciplinary action should also be used to ensure compliance with work rules and to promote workplace safety. In addition, employee discipline is a natural next step if an employee has not complied with a performance improvement plan (PIP) or action plan.
Although progressive discipline may be adequate to address many situations, at times immediate suspension or termination must be used. Employers need the proper tools to tackle commonplace workplace discipline situations, such as poor attendance, substance abuse and workplace theft. These tools include a variety of resources to aid in conducting discipline successfully, including internal policies and procedures and customized warnings.
Trends: States continue to enact legislation enlarging employee protections regarding an array of activities, ranging from smoking to voting to weapons possession. In addition, employees continue to make external agency complaints or file court claims under statutes with antiretaliation or whistleblower protections, such as federal and state False Claims Acts. Depending on state law, employers may be restricted from taking a number of actions during a disciplinary investigation, e.g., employee drug or polygraph testing. In other instances, an employer's failure to adequately discipline an employee or to document the results of a disciplinary investigation may pose greater liability problems, such as in the case of an external agency probe or an employment discrimination lawsuit.
Author: Marta Moakley, JD, Legal Editor
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which enforces over 20 different whistleblower statutes, has issued the largest ever punitive damages award in a retaliation claim under the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA).
In-depth review of the spectrum of Illinois employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employee discipline.
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In-depth review of the spectrum of California employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to involuntary terminations.
In-depth review of the spectrum of New Jersey employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to Employee Discipline
In-depth review of the spectrum of New Hampshire employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employee discipline.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Tennessee employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employee discipline.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals has extended the time in which to file a whistleblower claim under the Minnesota Whistleblower Act (MWA) from two to six years.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Minnesota employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employee discipline.
This briefing for supervisors provides a protocol and best practices for employee termination, from the disciplinary process through to the post-termination period.
HR and legal considerations regarding fair and consistent employee discipline. Advice on disciplining with effective results, no discrimination.