Although difficult at times, discipline is a necessary evil in every organization. Effective discipline can help address and correct performance and behavioral issues because employees know what to expect and what the consequences are if they fail to meet expectations. Effective and consistent discipline can also help protect employers — and individual managers — from wrongful termination and failure to promote claims.
Discipline and documentation go hand-in-hand. Indeed, the successful defense of employment claims often turns on the existence of good documentation. Why is documentation so important? When an employee is terminated, the judge and jury expect to see contemporaneous documentation of the former employee’s performance issues and that the former employee was treated fairly and given an opportunity to correct such performance issues.