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How you handle policy violation discussions with workers matters

No matter how careful you try to be when picking only the most responsible and honest employees, there's always someone who will try to bend the rules. It's that one worker that engages in misconduct that leaves you questioning whether you should reassess your hiring practices. Since having to take disciplinary action for policy violations doesn't happen all the time, you may be unsure what to do when the time comes to have to.

You should take disciplinary action against an employee who violates company policies right away. You should do this because this is when what they did is most apt to be at the forefront of their mind. You also send a message to other would-be policy breakers that you mean business by doing so.

One of the first steps that you should take after identifying the policy-breaking employee is to set up a private meeting with them. You should have a third party, such as supervisor, accompany you to serve as a witness.

Once in the meeting, you should clearly spell out what policy the worker violated, why their behavior is problematic and highlight how it has the potential of adversely impacting your company. You should give your employee an opportunity to provide an explanation or justification for their behavior as this may have an impact on the way you discipline them.

Both you and your witness should take notes during the meeting. In the end, you should summarize what was discussed and the resolution that was reached. Both you and your employee should sign and date that document. Having this will be invaluable if any conflict arises on down the line.

At the end of the meeting, you should tell your employee what their punishment is. A warning or putting them on probationary status may be appropriate for a minor policy infraction. Suspending or firing them may be best for a major one. You may even ask them what they feel is an appropriate punishment for what they did. It's also important to let them know what will happen if they violate policies again.

How employers handle discussions with their workers about policy violations can impact whether an employee can make a case for wrongful termination. Business owners who are unsure about how to handle a discussion with an employee and how to take disciplinary action may want to speak with a Cincinnati employment law attorney.

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