Written Warning for Disrespect
When should you issue an employee written warning for disrespect?
Disrespect can’t be tolerated in the workplace at all! It will do more to tear down any type of team than any other poor behavior an employee can display. Whether it is talking back to their supervisor or treating a customer poorly it must be addressed quickly.
Before we go too far let’s make sure we understand the difference between disrespect and insubordination. As an example, insubordination is where an employee refuses intentionally to perform a task assigned by a supervisor that they are fully capable and trained to do so. The only exception to an employee refusing to perform a task assigned by their supervisor is that it is unsafe or illegal for them to do so. On the other hand disrespect is where an employee may make inappropriate comments or gestures toward someone, such as, “You’re stupid” or “You’re an A-Hole!”
Another step before moving forward with an employee written warning for disrespect is to make sure of your facts are correct and you’re treating everyone fairly and consistently. In other words let’s make sure we are not overreacting to something before we check and confirm the facts. In addition, we must make sure that if we are taking action against one employee for disrespect we better be taking the same action for everyone. The quickest way to an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Claim is to treat someone in a protected class differently than someone that isn’t. Trust me when I tell you that employees pick up on everything you do and if you are taking progressive discipline on one or two employees but not taking that same action on someone else they will let you know, generally through a law suit or poor productivity.
During your employee investigation some of the things I always want to check are what was actually said. Of course if they were said directly to you then it is fairly straight forward; however, if they were said to someone else then interview those directly involved in this situation. When asking you questions don’t try to put words in anyone’s mouth. Make sure that their statement is their statement. If you are reacting to a customer’s complaint it can become more difficult. Remember, not all customers have pure motives when they complain about someone. They may be trying to get something from the company (free product or services) and if they scream loud enough they are hoping they will get it. So be fair. Generally, if you begin to receive multiple customer complaints then it may be starting to tell a story.
Here is an example employee written warning for disrespect:
You are being issued this written warning for disrespect.
On June 28, 2013, at approximately 3:10pm you were directed by your supervisor to complete the quarterly sales report using the new tracking system. Your response to your supervisor was “This new system sucks just like you!” Although you did complete the sales report this type of behavior will not be tolerated in the workplace. You were provided a copy of our company employee handbook on February 2, 2012.
In the future you are to treat all employees, customers, and visitors of this company with respect. At no time will you use inappropriate language or make inappropriate gestures to anyone. You are being provided another copy of our employee handbook and I directly you to page seven which outlines our policy on disrespectful behavior.
In the event you violate this policy or any other policy of this company you will be the subject of progressive discipline up to and including possible termination.
Thank you and May God bless you!
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