One of the best ways to protect your business from allegations of discrimination and retaliation is to ensure that you’re utilizing a progressive disciplinary system. This type of system puts an employee on notice of a work performance or behavioral issue, thereby providing them ample opportunity to correct the issue. It also makes a strong paper trail of what the issue has been that led up to an adverse employment decision, which can help insulate you from allegations of wrongdoing.
What does progressive discipline look like?
Although progressive discipline can be a strong human resources strategy, a lot of businesses don’t fully understand how to implement it. But here is a quick overview of one way you can deploy progressive discipline in your business:
- Start with verbal counseling to put the employee on notice and pre-emptively stop the problematic behavior.
- Provide verbal warnings when the behavior doesn’t stop.
- Issue written warnings that specify the problematic behavior, how it is to be corrected, and what action will be taken if the employee fails to correct the issue in a timely manner.
- If the behavior continues despite multiple written warnings, you might want to think about more severe forms of discipline, such as transfer to a new job assignment, demotion, suspension, or termination.
Remember, documentation is key. The greater the history of performance or behavior issues, the better positioned you’re going to be if you’re accused of discrimination.
Consider seeking guidance for your employment law disputes
Whether you’re trying to be proactive in addressing your employment issues or you’re trying to protect your business from active allegations of wrongdoing, you need to know how to best position yourself for success. That can be a complicated task, which is why you may find it beneficial to discuss your circumstances with an attorney you trust. Perhaps then you can be rest assured that your business is in good hands.