The Disciplinary Meeting & Discussion

This month, as 2014 comes to a close, we are taking a look back at some of the most important blog topics we have covered both in case you missed them, and to help you prepare for 2015!

serious-discussionThe following steps are important to follow every time you begin disciplinary action with an employee.

  • State the standard or policy.
    • It is important to the DOL that upon hire, the employee is made aware of the standard of work that is required of all employees. 
    • It is equally important to the DOL that the employee is aware of all company policies upon hire. 
    • Because of this expectation, when a former employee files a claim for unemployment benefits, the DOL always asks the employer whether or not the claimant was aware of the company policy they violated. The employee should already understand standards and policies. During a disiplinary discussion, it is important to reiterate this information.
  • Refer to specific conducts and incidents, not “attitude” or “opinions”.
    • When reviewing unemployment insurance (UI) claims, DOL Claims Examiners only look at relative ‘incidents’ when determining eligibility of benefits. 
    • Whether or not a claimant is awarded UI benefits has nothing to do with attitude or opinions.
  • Describe the effect of the violation on the business and/or other employees.
    • This is important, the DOL always wants to know how the employee’s actions affected the business.
    • If the employee merely annoys you, but can perform their duties up to standards and have no direct effect on the business; if you terminate them without just cause, they can be awarded benefits. 
  • Make clear the consequences of future violations. Will further poor performance put their job in jeopardy?
    • Whether or not the employee knew their job was in jeopardy is an important factor in a Claims Examiner’s determination.
    • It’s important that the employee understands that they could lose thier job, otherwise, they have no chance to change the behavior and improve-thus becoming eligible for UI benefits.
    • They need to understand that they may lose their job, and then you must allow an adequate amount of time for improvement. Ask your HR Strategies Human Resources Consultant more about that time period. 
  • Review the Disciplinary Report with the employee.
    • These forms show that there was a disciplinary session, that the employer put an action change plan into place, and that the employee understood that they needed to improve and agreed to follow the action plan. 
    • These forms are MAIN FORMS OF DOCUMENTATION that are essential during unemployment insurance cases.
  • Have the employee sign the report to acknowledge the discipline.
    • This proves understanding and shows the employee agrees with the changes they will have to make to keep their job.
    • Keep these in the employee’s file.

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About HR Strategies

HR Strategies is a private human resource management firm created to enable small business owners to focus on their core competencies, rather than the tedium of running payroll, providing employee benefits, or the many other facets of human resource administration. We allow business owners to concentrate on their passion, without being distracted by countless human resource responsibilities.

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