Employee Discipline Form:
They Can Make Your Life Easier


Sample Completed Employee Discipline Form

Employee:      Jeremy Q. Beck         Title:  Food Service Worker      

Supervisor:    Keith L. Smith             Title:  Food Service Manager  

Type of Disciplinary Action

(check only one)

        Counseling                            X        1st Written Warning

         2nd Written Warning                       3rd Written Warning


Previous Disciplinary Action Issued

(List date(s) and Type issued only)

Date:    4/12/11                           Type:    Counseling           

Date:                                           Type:                                 

Date:                                           Type:                                 

Date:                                           Type:                                  

Explain Behavior or Performance

(List date(s) & approximate time(s).

Explain who, what, why and where. Only facts)

 You failed to follow the FIFO (First In First Out) policy which           

 caused$250 worth of food waste. This occurred on 5/28/11.            

Action Necessary to Correct Behavior or Performance

(List training needed or explain the correct type of behavior expected)

Using the FIFO system is extremely important to insure our           

customer is always receiving the very freshest food possible, while

also insuring that we do not have any unnecessary food waste.      

I instructing you to complete the online training class as a review    

to the importance of FIFO.                                                                 

Explain Consequences of Future Behavior or Performance Issues

Any future violations of company policies or procedures may result

in disciplinary action up to and including possible termination.         

Employee Comments

I don't agree with this. I was only doing what my supervisor told

me to do.                                                                               


(Note to Employee: By signing this form it only indicates that you have been informed of the issue, not that you necessarily agree or disagree.)

Employee:      Keith L.Smith                  Date:    5/30/11            

Supervisor:    Brett B. Thomas              Date:    5/30/11            

Witness:                                                 Date:                            
(If Necessary)

employee discipline

More Information on an Employee Discipline Form

Note:   Provide a copy to the Employee and place the original in the Employee Personnel File.

Just Fire them! Right? Wrong!

An employee discipline form is a legal tool to simply document an event.

Using the form that I offer can simplify your life when it comes to disciplining or terminating an employee!

Keep in mind that most employment law suits today are settled in amounts over half a million dollars!

Do you have that kind of money lying around to pay out a legal claim? My guess it that you don’t!

The only way you should find yourself in trouble with issuing an employee discipline form is if you are targeting certain types of employee’s. If you are doing this then I say good luck to you, and you should leave this website immediately, because that is wrong and illegal. Those kinds of managers make it hard on the rest of us trying to do things the right way!

Now no matter what form you use it is still up to you to complete the employee discipline form correctly, fairly, and equally to all your employees. Do not treat one differently than another because one performs better than the other. Leaders have a tendency to do this for things like being tardy or absent. They make allowances for the ones that perform well and take immediate action for the ones that don’t. This is exactly what will get you in trouble. Remember the only thing you can take to court with you is generally what you can document. If being absent is wrong for one employee it is wrong for all of them!

Please be consistent for your sake. I want you to succeed!

Although I have produced an employee discipline form that you can use for much less than any others on the market there are other choices out there. Make the right choice for yourself!


Good leadership skills must be applied to any form of management, especially employee discipline.

Inform the Employee of the Problem!

An employee discipline form should include some very basic items to insure that you are notifying the employee of what the letter represents, what they did specifically that was incorrect, what they need to do to correct the behavior, and finally any additional information that may be associated with the discipline, such as training, employee assistance programs, etc.

An Employee Discipline Form, or Employee Discipline Letter should include enough information to inform the employee of the problem and the corrective action necessary for the next time, but this should not be some long drawn out novel of information.

I also am a very strong believer in your organization having an employee handbook! This is a critical point and should not be overlooked. An employee handbook must include all your policies no matter how small or large your organization is. Depending on the size of your company, many laws require you to have information informing your employees of certain policies, such as, ADA, EEOC, Harassment, Discrimination, etc.

It takes continual good leadership skills to be a good supervisor. If you ignore employee's that violate your policies, you will pay a big price sooner or latter. In most cases sooner.

Adults are no different than children with the exception that they are able to disguise their motives better.

I hope that this sample employee discipline letter in the form of an employee discipline form was helpful.

Thank you for reviewing this information on an Employee Discipline Form and May God Bless You!

Man with head in a stock

Employee Discipline Form:
It Will Make Your Life Easier

Why do we need an employee written warning form at all. After all, all employees follow the rules without question, don't they? No one is ever late, disrespectful, calls without showing up, steals, discriminates, or sexually harasses anyone do they?

Well, if you do not have a lot of experience with issuing discipline it is wise to use an employee written warning form, especially since they can be free or very inexpensive. (We have provided a free form just to the right) There really isn’t anything complicated about writing an actual written warning with the exception of making sure that you include all the elements of employee discipline. The reason that it is so important is that if you end up in court it is critical to have evidence that you warned them about what any potential consequences could be if they continue to not follow your company policies.

Employee Discipline Form: Make Sure it is Part of Your Employee Policy Manual

However, prior to completing and issuing a written warning form it is even more import to produce an Employee Handbook which takes care of the most important element of all. That is the element of making sure that you have established a policy against their wrong doing. The wrong doing could be anything from simply being tardy to misuse of company property. Don’t take it for granted that everyone should know that these are not allowed in the workplace. The problem becomes defining what really is tardy and are you making sure that everyone is being held to the same standard?

I can tell you from experience that the one single thing that will cause you more problems are not treating everyone equally. That means that if you issue a Written Warning Form for someone being three minutes tardy one time you better issue one to everyone else. An employee that is in a protected class will file a discrimination claim against you with the Equal Employee Opportunity Commission (EEOC) quicker than you can say “Million Dollar Law Suit!” Remember a protected class includes race, sex, age, national origin, religion, etc.

So, you go forward with issuing an Employee Written Warning Form to someone that has mentioned a couple times that they are Jewish or Catholic and you are not and that could be enough cause for them claim religious discrimination. Now of course there is a little more to it than that, but you get my point. I’ve been in the business world for over forty years and I have seen some pretty bizarre things along the way. When employees are terminated for poor performance, they want to grasp at anything and everything including discrimination. Protect yourself with an Employee Handbook and a solid Employee Written Warning Form! 

As I've stated throughout this article one of the most important additions you can make to your business is producing a simple but effective employee policy manual, or also known as an employee handbook. This will clearly let everyone, including any attorney representing an employee trying to sue you, that you had established rules that were made known. I have been before many judges and simply provided them our employee policy manual and almost immediately the case turned in our favor.

Good Luck and May God Bless You!


Printable Employee Discipline Form

Below is a free printable employee discipline form that I am sure will work great for issuing any type of employee discipline at your workplace. Although I know that a person’s first impulse is to issue a counseling, verbal warning, formal written warning, or termination when someone has blatantly not followed your rules, but ask yourself some questions before doing so.

Before using the Printable Employee Discipline Form – Ask these questions

1.       Was the employee made aware of the work rule?

How do you know that the employee was aware of the work rule? Do you have a policy manual or something else that spells out the work rule? As an example, if you require anyone that smokes must be a certain distance from any customer or employee entrance so no one has to walk through the smoke.

2.       Was the employee trained to perform the task?

As an example, if the employee’s task is to retrieve items from a top shelf and they were trained to use a step ladder, but they used a nearby cardboard carton to stand on and smashed and ruined new merchandise.

3.       Was there anyone else involved?

Did they have anyone else that participated in the work rule violation? Using the smoke rule violation above, was there others participating in the violation that are being held accountable also?

4.       Have you treated everyone the same that has broken that work rule in the past?

One of the most common missteps that supervisors make when issuing discipline is letting some of the better performers break the same rule you are holding a lesser performer accountable for. This becomes especially important if they are in a protected class.

5.       Is the work rule reasonable?

Are you asking someone to do something that isn’t legal or isn’t ethical? As an example, you have a work rule that Christians are not permitted to pray in silence at the break table on their unpaid lunch break.

6.       Is the work rule written or just assumed?

As mentioned earlier, is the work rule written in a policy handbook, or posted somewhere. In addition, was the employee made aware of the work rule by signing for the employee policy handbook.

Using the Printable Employee Discipline Form

One of the most common problems I’ve seen in my half a century of being in management, is a supervisor that has overlooked a lot of issues a poor employee has done until they just can’t take it anymore. Then they want to terminate the employee for a rather minor infraction. The supervisor comes to me and goes on and on about how bad the employee is until I asked them why didn’t they do something before. They almost always tell me that thought the employee would get better, but they haven’t. Well, if you haven’t helped the employee understand they were doing something wrong, by using an established discipline process, then what did you expect? The supervisor turns and walks away a little embarrassed.  I will stop them and remind them what they need to do to help the employee improve. After all, the objective of the discipline process is to improve their behavior.

Thank you and may God bless you!

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