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Written Warnings in the Workplace: Examples & Concept

Written Warnings in the Workplace: Examples & Concept
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  • 0:03 What Is a Written Warning?
  • 0:33 Examples
  • 1:09 Discipline Framework
  • 2:30 A Warning About Warnings
  • 2:54 Lesson Summary
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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.

Examples

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:

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