A Business-Minded Approach To Employment Law

How employers can protect themselves when disciplining employees

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2023 | Employment Law |

Most Florida employers understand they need established guidelines to direct their workers and protect the company. It is easy to create a list of rules and regulations but less easy to determine the appropriate manner of discipline when an employee breaks the rules. Employers must treat all employees equally and follow all laws when choosing disciplinary actions.

Create clear guidelines

A written handbook ensures all workers have access to the company requirements. Have customized handouts available if regulations differ based on the position within the company. The guidelines must include rules and an explanation of the disciplinary measures to expect when people do not follow the rules.

Written explanations of what the company expects and how it will handle employee discipline let everyone know they are not being punished unfairly or singled out. It also protects the employer because it shows a clear expectation of standards, achievements, or behaviors.

Insist on consistency

Consistent and fair employee discipline relies on supervisors and managers making everyone under their guidance equally accountable. Company owners and executive staff need to demand this behavior from all members of management in the organization. Employees terminated for their actions may file a discrimination claim against their former employer if they have witnessed previous co-workers performing the same act without discipline. To avoid this, supervisors must:

  • Express the concern.
  • Explain how it violates company requirements.
  • Discuss possible steps the employee can take to avoid additional problems.
  • Explain any disciplinary measures based on the established guidelines.

Focus on improvement

Disciplinary actions should involve a documented conversation with the employee not meeting standards. It can show the growth of the individual through their employment with the company or provide proof of a history of misbehavior or unsatisfactory performance. Keep the meeting formal and consistent with every employee.

All employees want the respect and security that a clear set of standards and rules provides. Fairness and consistency prevent wasting time and money while they protect reliable employees and the company.