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What Every Progressive Discipline Policy Must Include

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in Human Resources

No policy should be written in a way that ties an employer to a specific set of actions. This is especially true of a progressive discipline policy. An employer's departure from its own policies can constitute circumstantial evidence of discrimination. However, when a progressive discipline policy permits the employer to exercise discretion in discharging an employee without exhausting all of the policy's steps, failure to follow all of the steps does not suggest a discriminatory motive.


Discretion Saves The Day

A company's discipline policy involved the following steps:

  1. oral warning and informal counseling;

  2. written warning and counseling;

  3. suspension; and

  4. discharge.

The policy also stated, "[d]epending on the facts and circumstances involved in each situation, management may choose to begin disciplinary action at any step." Additionally, "[f]or certain major violations or continued failure to respond to...(register to read more)

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