Employee failed to tell us about the unsafe condition that led to her injury–can we discipline? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Employee failed to tell us about the unsafe condition that led to her injury–can we discipline?

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Q: “I have an employee who told me on Monday that she was hurt on the prior Thursday. While we will certainly take care of the injury and report it and offer care, we would like to write up a disciplinary notice for her not immediately reporting both the unsafe condition that caused the injury as well as the injury itself. May we do this?” – Kary, Maryland

A: The correct process is to discipline the employee for failing to report the unsafe condition and the fact that an injury occurred sooner-not for reporting an injury. As a practical matter, many employers are reluctant to terminate an individual solely for a failure to report an injury, because often employees are nervous about getting into trouble for reporting one. Nevertheless, if your policy is clear, there is no reason not to impose corrective action for those who don’t follow that policy.

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