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Is refusing to sign a disciplinary notice itself a reason for further discipline?

by on
in Leaders & Managers,Performance Reviews

Q. We recently disciplined an employee for poor performance. She did not agree with our assessment and is refusing to sign the memo documenting our discussions. Can we discipline her for her refusal to sign this memo?

A. Yes. To avoid any dispute over whether and what type of warning an employer provided an employee, it is common to ask the employee to sign the disciplinary memo. Often, these memos include a statement confirming that the purpose of the employee’s signature isn’t to signify that she agrees with the contents, but simply to acknowledge receipt of the document.

In cases like this one, however, it’s always wise to pick your battles and try the least inflammatory approach.

When an employee refuses to sign the document, having her write a statement that she disagrees with the contents of the document will accomplish your goal of having evidence that she received and reviewed the memo.

If steps like these are ineffective, and the employee still refuses to sign the document, that can be grounds for further disciplinary action.

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