Written Warnings in the Workplace: Examples & Concept

Written Warnings in the Workplace: Examples & Concept
Coming up next: Employee Performance Appraisal: Methods, Process & Examples

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:03 What Is a Written Warning?
  • 0:33 Examples
  • 1:09 Discipline Framework
  • 2:30 A Warning About Warnings
  • 2:54 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up


Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shawn Grimsley
A written warning is a common component of an employee discipline policy. In this lesson, you'll learn about written warnings, related concepts, and be provided some examples.

What Is a Written Warning?

A written warning is usually the second step in a formal employee disciplinary process, which follows an oral warning. If an employee engages in behavior that is contrary to the employer's work policies and has already been warned verbally, the next step is to provide an employee a written warning that notifies the employee of his or her inappropriate behavior, often referencing a particular employment policy and usually warns the employee of the consequences if the employee continues to engage in the behavior.


Written warnings are often given out for the following types of employee conduct:

  • Absenteeism
  • Abusive language
  • Causing unsafe working conditions
  • Damage to company property
  • Loss of company property
  • Horseplay
  • Low productivity
  • Negligence
  • Profanity
  • Rudeness to customers
  • Refusal to accept a work assignment
  • Sleeping on the job
  • Tardiness

Of course, there are more serious violations, such as committing a crime or use of illegal drugs on the job. Some violations may result in immediate termination to the extent permitted by law.

Discipline Framework

Employee discipline refers to actions imposed upon an employee for failure to follow an organization's rules and standards of conduct. Of course, the most effective means of ensuring employee compliance is not through discipline but rather through education and training.

Oftentimes, employers will set up a formal disciplinary procedure that typically consists of three phases:

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account