Employee Disciplinary Action Policy Example

The company has adopted a progressive discipline policy to pinpoint and deal with employee and work related problems.

In most cases, employee conduct warranting discipline stems from unacceptable behavior, poor performance or violation of the company’s policies, practices or procedures. However, discipline may be dispensed for conduct that falls outside of such areas. Just as importantly, the company is not obligated to exercise progressive discipline, but may take whatever action it deems necessary to address the issue at hand.

The company may use progressive disciplinary measures even when the conduct that leads to more serious discipline differs from that which resulted in less severe punishment. In other words, violations of different rules shall be judged in the same manner as repeated violations of the same rule for purposes of progressive action.

The steps included in this policy are outlined below. The company retains the right to amalgamate or omit steps depending on the specific circumstances of each case, includingthe type of issue or offense. Some of the factors taken into consideration are whether the offense reoccurs despite of corrective intervention such as coaching, counseling or training; the employee’s work record; and the extent to which the conduct and performance issues affect the organization.

Because they are held to strict standards for conduct and job performance, progressive discipline is mandatory for probationary employees.

Disciplinary steps

1. Verbal Caution: An employee will receive a verbal caution when he or she engages in unacceptablebehavior. This initial action is taken to alert the employee that a there is a potential problem or that an issue has been identified, that has to be dealt with. The employee’s [insert the appropriate person’s title such as immediate supervisor/manager] will document and maintain records pertaining to a verbal warning. A verbal caution is effective for [specify time (e.g., three months)].

2. Verbal Warning: This is more serious than a verbal caution. An employee will receive a verbal warning when a problem is identified that warrants such a warning or the employee engages in unacceptable behavior while a verbal caution is in effect. A verbal warning is documented and placed in the employee’s personnel file. It is effective for [specify time (e.g., three months)].

3. Written Warning: This is more serious than a verbal warning. A written warning will be issued when an employee engages in conduct that warrants such a warning, or the employee engages in unacceptable behavior while a verbal warning is in effect. A written warning is kept in an employee’s personnel file and is effective for [specify time (e.g., three months)].

4. Suspension: A suspension without pay is more serious than a written warning. An employee will be suspended when he or she engages in conduct that warrants it, or the employee engages in unacceptable behavior while a written warning is in effect. An employee’s suspension will be documented and, regardless of the length of the suspension issued, will remain in effect for [specify time (e.g., three months)].

5. Decision Making Leave: Following a suspension, an employee will usually be admonished them sent home for the day on decision-making leave. This is meant to the employee time to decide whether they want to keep working for the company. If the employee returns, he or she will be expected to work even harder to comply with the company guidelines and continue their employment without interruption. The employee may also choose to resign if he or she concludes that employment with the company is no longer viable.

6. Termination: The company will terminate an employee when he or she engages in conduct that justifies this action or does not correct the issue or conduct that resulted in prior discipline.

Appeals Process

Employees will be permitted to present evidence to refute information management has used as the basis for disciplinary action. This is done in order to provide insight into any extenuating circumstances that may have caused the employee’s performance or conduct issues while allowing for an equitable solution.

If the employee does not present this evidence during any of the disciplinary meetings, he or she will have five business days following each of those meetings to do so.

Performance and Conduct Issues Not Subject to Progressive Discipline

Illegal conduct is not subject to progressive discipline and may result in immediate termination. Any such conduct may also be reported to local law enforcement authorities.

In keeping with this, theft, substance abuse, intoxication, fighting and other acts of violence at work are also excluded from progressive discipline and may be grounds for immediate termination.


The company will ensure that any employee who is disciplined in accordance with this policy receives copies of all relevant documents. Such employees willalso be asked to sign copies of this material attesting to his or her receipt and understanding of the corrective action outlined in these documents.

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