Written Warning for Tardiness



Preparing an employee written warning for tardiness is very easy if you follow some basic rules that apply to issuing progressive discipline in the workplace. First and foremost the purpose of any form of employee discipline is to correct behavior; therefore, if you have given up on trying to correct an employee’s behavior it is time to terminate them. There are some basic rules in terminating an employee as well to protect your company from an unnecessary law suit. But for now let’s discuss how to issue discipline for tardiness so that we are justified in our actions and hopefully improving the employee’s attendance.















If you can answer all these questions and still come to the same conclusion it is time to issue the employee written warning for tardiness.



Before ever issuing any employee discipline make sure you are being fair, consistent, timely, and have your facts right. In the case of tardiness the facts should be straight forward; however, it is always good to make sure. Answer questions like; was the schedule posted, did someone change the schedule, did the employee request to come in late prior to the date of tardiness, and did the employee understand your policy on tardiness? If you can answer all these questions and still come to the same conclusion it is time to issue the employee written warning letter for tardiness.

Let’s answer one more question before we issue the discipline and that is what is your policy on tardiness? It is my recommendation that tardiness boils down to whether the employee was present and ready to work at the start of their scheduled shift. So if an employee was scheduled to work at 8:00am any time after 8:00am they would be considered tardy. That means that at 8:01am they are now tardy. In addition, ready to work means ready to work. If they are present but not in their uniform or still in the parking lot strolling in they are not at their work station ready to work. This may seem harsh but in my opinion the switch is either on or off when it comes to tardiness. If you allow any grace period, such as five minutes, then the actual start time becomes five minutes after you have them scheduled because employees will soon learn that they can be five minutes late without any penalty.  leadership

Now this is not to say that the very first time an employee is late you rush to give them an employee written warning letter for tardiness. Not at all; however, it doesn’t mean you ignore it either. If an employee is late the first time I recommend that you call them to the side and remind them of their start time. The second time an employee is later I would make the reminder a little more formal. As an example I would ask them to step into your office and stress that this is their last courtesy reminder. On the third occurrence I believe it is time to issue the written warning for tardiness.

Here is an example:

This written warning letter is being issued to you for tardiness.

Specifically, you were tardy on the following dates. On Monday, June 10, 2013, you were scheduled to be at work at 8:00am; however, you reported to work at 8:12am. On Tuesday, July 9, 2013, you were scheduled to be at work at 8:00am; however, you reported to work at 8:22am. On Friday, August 2, 2013, you were scheduled to be at work at 8:00am; however, you reported to work at 8:17am. On the mornings of June 10 and July 9 I spoke to you and reminded you that you were to report for your scheduled shift and be ready to work on or before it begins.

Going forward it is critical that you report to work on time and be prepare to begin your shift. It is important to remember that simply calling your supervisor and informing them that you are running late does not excuse your tardiness.

Continued tardiness or any other violation of our company policies may result in progressive discipline, up to and including possible dismissal.


Thank you for reviewing this information on a written warning for tardiness and May God bless you!

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