Progressive Discipline Steps

If there is no improvement or if repeat occurrences follow corrective action measures, you may have to take progressively more serious actions. The purpose of disciplinary action is to turn performance, attendance and conduct problems around by continuing to identify problems, causes, and solutions. If you can accomplish this in a positive and constructive way, you will send a message that you are not out to punish, but to help the employee become a fully productive member of your work unit. Consultation with ELR is required prior to initiation of any formal discipline.

There are three possible forms of progressive discipline: letter of warning, suspension, or termination. When deciding what disciplinary action to take, keep in mind that discipline is supposed to be constructive. While your overall goal is still improvement, the consequences for the employee’s failure to improve are much more serious. Prior to issuing any disciplinary action, you are still required to first review your concerns with the employee and allow him/her an opportunity to respond before taking action. In most cases, a letter of warning is the first appropriate step in progressive discipline. Any formal corrective or disciplinary action must follow the principles of "Just Cause".

Click here to download a template for a Letter of Warning (.docx Microsoft Word file)