Employees often refuse to sign disciplinary measures, but they are more likely to sign if notices are presented and formulated correctly. They want their signature as proof that they have received discipline for their behavior. Despite an employer`s efforts, sometimes an employee still refuses to sign. So what does HR do? You don`t want to look like you`ve written down the employee and put the documentation in a personal, invisible folder. If an employer threatens to fire a worker for not signing a disciplinary notice, the company has unnecessarily made the situation worse, agreed Jeffrey Stewart, an attorney with White and Williams in Center Valley, Pennsylvania. If the employee is laid off at that time, they are likely to be eligible for unemployment benefits (which can increase unemployment taxes for your business), even if the warning was for misconduct or poor performance. Repeated misconduct usually disqualifies someone from unemployment benefits; poor performance doesn`t, he noted. While some may fire an employee for not signing as an insubordination, Patricia Wise, an attorney at Spengler Nathanson in Toledo, Ohio, said an employer should not insist that the employee sign a disciplinary notice. Asking for a signature on a disciplinary notice is not like distributing an employee manual or providing a restrictive agreement that must be signed without exception, she said.
Instead of insisting on a signature, HR professionals should encourage the employee to submit a written rebuttal, Shea said. Attach the rebuttal to the disciplinary form. Above the employee`s signature line, there should be language stating that the signature does not mean that you agree with the information it contains, but only that you confirm that you have received a copy of the written notice. Employees are more likely to sign disciplinary notices that clearly state above the signature line that they disagree with the warning, and by signing, they only confirm that they have received and reviewed the documents, said Kristin Gray, an attorney at FordHarrison in Spartanburg, S.C. If the employee refuses to sign and does not file a rebuttal, it becomes more difficult for the employer to prove that the employee received the discipline, she noted. “If the employee decides to deny it, there is not much the employer could do to counter it. If the employee nevertheless decides not to sign, a human resources manager and a witness can document the receipt with their own signatures. You may later be asked to testify that the discipline was presented to the employee.
Danaher recommended separating the signature field from the body of the disciplinary report. She said the signature field should read: “My signature here ONLY shows that I had the opportunity to read this report. It does NOT show my consent to the content” and should have a signature line underneath. If there is a comment field, add another signature line underneath. Lisa McQuerrey is an award-winning writer and writer for over 25 years. She specializes in economics, finance, workplace/career and education. Some of the publications she has written for include In Business Las Vegas, Nevada Business Journal, and National Real Estate Investor Magazine. However, Donna Bernardi Paul, SHRM-SCP, Managing Director, Human Capital Management at BDO`s Business Services and Outsourcing team in McLean, Virginia, said, “Accepting this type of behavior is not a best management practice and can have other adverse effects on remaining employees; although removing the employee from the role may not be the most mitigating decision of risk. You, the HR professional, might say something like, “We will discuss with you the issues that led to this discipline.
At the end of this meeting, we will show you a form on which we have documented the reasons for this meeting and the discipline and give you time to review it. We will also ask you to sign the form just to show that you have received and read it. Do you have any questions before we start? Before you find yourself in this type of scenario, develop a written guideline on how to document attributions and other formal written elements such as evaluations and performance evaluations. Incorporate your policy into your orientation and hiring document so that employees know what your policies are from day one of employment. It`s also worth consulting with an employment lawyer on how to protect yourself and your business. A lawyer can help you ensure that your work policies, written reprimand forms, and termination policies are free of loopholes and protect you from litigation. You can also choose to add language that indicates that failure to sign the confirmation is a form of employee misconduct and is grounds for termination. If that fails and you, as an HR representative, are alone with the employee, you can call another manager as a witness, Shea said. In the presence of the witness, ask the employee to confirm that you have exceeded discipline and that the employee has decided not to sign. Then you and the witness can sign and date a language that would say something like, “Met the staff member on [date] and discussed the above.
The employee refused to sign” with his full name or initials and date. Or the supervisor can do all of this if you`re not at the disciplinary session. The employer can ask the employee to write on the “I disagree” form and sign and date that, noted Robin Shea, an attorney at Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete in Winston-Salem, N.C. However, it rarely works, she added. If an employee refuses to sign a disciplinary strike, try to resolve the issue by going through the document point by point. If she still refuses to sign, consider it a form of misconduct on the part of an employee and document the rejection in the presence of a witness. Consider adding a section that allows an employee to add their own comments, she added. It would also indicate that the employee has received the warning. If you`re dealing with an employee who was written and reprimanded, but then relentlessly refused to acknowledge the disciplinary measure, you may end up with a belligerent and uncooperative person on your hands. .