Do your forms for written disciplinary warnings include room for an employee rebuttal?

If not, you might want to add the space. Two main reasons:

  • Even if the employee doesn’t agree with the discipline, he’ll come to terms with it if he thinks it was fair. A person who has a chance to “speak his piece” is more likely to go away with an impression of fairness.
  • Some employees, out of anger or spite, will refuse to sign the line on the form acknowledging that they received the warning. But if you make space for a rebuttal, you can put a second signature line in, for the employee to affirm that it was indeed he who wrote the rebuttal. This accomplishes your purpose of getting written acknowledgment.

Caution: Supervisors may feel the need to respond to rebuttals. Generally, discourage them from doing so. You don’t want to go back and forth with the employee who’s being disciplined.

Source: “101 Sample Write-Ups for Employee Performance Problems,” by Paul Falcone.

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