Why do you need to issue a written warning notice to an employee? Many who are operating their own small businesses today put themselves at great risk when they finally get fed up with an employee and terminate them without providing them any prior warnings at all!
Those same business owners will tell you they have the right to hire and fire whoever they wish.
After all it's their business!
I agree it is their business to lose if they wish. You can be right, yet still wrong!
The key to all of this is documentation.
Whether it is something serious like fighting or theft, you still need to document the situation with an employee warning notice even if you take immediate action to terminate them for a serious violation.
As inexpensive as it is for employee handbook software that will practically do everything except fill in the blanks for you, people still refuse to produce one. Many of these same software programs offer all types of legal forms including a written warning form.
Those same people scream and yell after they lose an unemployment hearing because they didn't have the documentation they needed.
Most employee software out there can be purchased for less than fifty dollars yet small business owners still won't spend the money to get it. They’ll spend that much or more on dinner out!
Speaking from experience I can tell you that two things are almost always asked for at any legal proceeding resulting from a terminated employee.
The first is "Do you have an employee hand book?"
The second is "Did you issue any type of written warning to the employee prior to termination?"
Why not answer yes to both and significantly reduce your chances of losing.
Preparing a written warning letter couldn't be any easier with the right software or without software at all.
I have unfortunately had to issue hundreds of written warnings over the years.
If someone is late and your “employee handbook” covers tardiness, then you should be addressing the issue early on. Don't wait until you are so fed up like I mentioned in the second sentence of this article and terminate the person the twentieth time they walk through the door late. I have provided many different examples of employee warning notices on this website.
My guess is that if you didn't take the time to issue them a written warning letter you probably didn't document how late they were, or the date at all. This will be a problem later on. See my article in this blog on “Reasons for Termination.”
The question that will be asked at the legal proceeding will be if it was not acceptable for them to be late why didn't you warn the person.
So you tell them that you verbally warned them. They will then ask for the proof. Guess what would work perfectly? You’re right – a written warning notice.
Again, for the low cost of software that can handle your employee
hand book and many other legal employee documents required by law,
including a formatted written warning notice; you are crazy for not
having something to use.