Most employee lawsuits stem from employees' perceptions that they got a raw deal. So before you discipline an employee in writing, ask yourself these questions:
- Does the punishment fit the crime? Sending someone home without pay for being 10 minutes late is excessive, unless the tardiness is a repeated violation and the employee has been told that repeated incidents could end in dismissal. Document all violations.
- Did you discuss it first? Talk over the problem before you commit it to writing; it may help you draw a more accurate conclusion.
- Are the facts clear? If everyone agrees on the events in question and you have proof that what happened violated company rules, your case is ironclad. But don't make a final decision to put it in writing until all ambiguities are gone.
- Are you acting consistently? Review the discipline handed out over the past year. How does what happened then compare with the current situation?
- Choose words carefully when challenging unemployment
- Play it cool in depositions: Plan, prepare and don't babble
- Do-it-yourself audit of your company policies
- You can discharge if there's no way to tell when employee will return to work
- Investigation points back to employee who complained? It's OK to punish her, too