New York partner Jerry Hathaway was quoted in an article on the SHRM website titled “One and Done: When to Skip Progressive Discipline.” The article discusses how using progressive discipline can help employers show they treat employees fairly, while also helping employers defeat discrimination and retaliation claims. However, there are cases where it is better to skip progressive discipline and go straight to termination.
“A business may risk liability if a worker who has engaged in severe misconduct remains employed—and hurts someone or damages property,” Jerry said.
Jerry goes on to note that even unionized employers with collective bargaining agreements that require progressive discipline can fire employees quickly. Many collective bargaining agreements list reasons for immediate termination, such as fighting, assault, theft, serious insubordination, dishonesty, and being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These reasons are useful guidelines for all employers that use progressive discipline.