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7 situations you should document every time

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in Firing,Human Resources

Thorough and accurate HR documentation is what wins lawsuits. Here are seven occurrences you should always write up:

1. Excessive tardiness, unexcused absences. Accurate attendance records—listing dates and times—form the backbone of many decisions to discipline or terminate.

2. Incompetent job performance. Describe what the employee did or did not do, how that violated your rules or standards, and the consequences of the poor performance. Cite attempts you make to help the employee improve.

3. Failure to comply with policy or with established safety procedures. Specificity matters here, too. Detail the policy or procedure that was violated. Especially where safety violations are concerned, document that you counseled the employee.

4. Physical violence, verbal threats. Especially if your zero-tolerance policy requires termination, spell out exactly what happened.

5. Complaints of sexual harassment or discrimination. These complaints often turn into lawsuits. Include details of your investigation. Assume that your records will become evidence in court.

6. Proven instances of on-the-job impairment. Explain why you believe the employee was under the influence. Document that you followed established protocols for alcohol or drug testing.

7. Positive performance. A file containing only negative comments can make it look like you had it in for the employee. Give credit when it’s due.

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