Florham Park partner Lynne Anderson was quoted in an article on the SHRM website titled “13 Ways to Improve Written Warnings and Manage Employees Better.” The article provides some recommendations on how employers can improve written warnings so that employees can improve their behavior, managers can better manage them, and the company can stay out of the courtroom.
Lynne notes that employers should issue written warnings promptly, as letting bad behavior fester will only lead to more problems later. “Timely warnings demonstrate that concerns are legitimate and not pretext for alleged discrimination or retaliation,” Lynne said.
Lynne also suggests that employers should give the employee the opportunity to provide a written response, as it promotes good employee relations.
“If the employee does submit a response, HR should review it to see if any follow-up is needed,” Lynne said. “For example, if the comments indicate that the performance issue is due to the employee's medical condition or a situation covered by family and medical leave laws, HR should reach out to the worker to get the necessary medical documentation to determine whether the individual is eligible for Family and Medical Leave Act time off or a reasonable accommodation.”