Should I Have Employees Sign Notices of Policy Infractions?
Question: After having a meeting with an employee about breaking company policy or some other infraction, I always back it up with a memo to the employee and a copy to their personnel file. Do I need the employee to actually sign the memo for it to hold any weight should I want to fire them? I live in an “at will” state.
Answer: It’s not necessary, but it is a good idea to ask the employee to sign the memo, at least to show receipt of the memo and to demonstrate that the employee was counseled. If the employee refuses to sign even just a receipt, you can so note that on the company copy of the memo. Some companies use a form which allows the employee to write a response, again not a necessity, but not a bad practice either. Documentation is of course always important, but what’s critical is to thoroughly investigate instances of employee misconduct including getting the employee’s side of the story before deciding on disciplinary action.
This response is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion, nor is this column a substitute for formal legal assistance. For help with particular legal needs, members are invited to consult with ACCA’s LegalTools Counsel, Brooke Duncan III of Adams and Reese LLP. Mr. Duncan can be reached at 504-585-0220 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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