Sample Employee Discipline Letter

Progressive discipline & termination advice

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Sample Employee Discipline Letter

Three powerful reasons for firing a bad employee. Sample discipline letter and termination forms.



Have you had difficulty crafting a discipline letter for staff? Do you wish to find help to create an appropriate letter? We believe we can help you. The letter has to do several things, but most of all it must clearly define the infraction, and how the company plans to respond.

Discipline Letter Sample

Employee Name
City, State, Zip

RE: Infraction Detail

This letter serves as written notice to [name]. We have made the decision to take disciplinary action regarding [this situation].

At this point in the letter, it is good to explain what action management has taken previously. This sample discipline letter should clearly define the prior issues with the employee and then spell out the disciplinary action taken in the second paragraph.

We have decided to suspend [name] without pay for the period of one week. The suspension will go into effect immediately.

Our sincere hope is that this suspension is met with reconciliation on the part of the employee. We should not have to warn the next step of action will be termination.

You have the right to appeal this decision. If you have questions about this disciplinary action, please contact the Human Resources Department.


(Manager’s Signature)

Drafting Sample Employee Discipline Letter

It is important to remember a court can use the letter as legal evidence in the future, so it is important to draft a copy and have someone else in the human resource department review it. It is helpful to have templates ready ahead of time that management has drafted and reviewed with the help of legal counsel.

The sample employee discipline letter we provided is a guide. The idea behind the discipline letter is to provide a paper trail for future reference. If the employee’s behavior does not improve, then managers can use this invaluable documentation to clarify the procedures taken to warn the employee that they may lose their job if they did not change.

The manager should mail the sample employee discipline letter to an employee or hand it to them directly. If you choose to mail the letter to the employee, then be certain you use certified mail. You do not want the employee claiming they did not receive the letter, in case further action has to be done. It may even be wise to include a receipt notice that they have to sign and return to the human resource office. In this way, a business owner or manager eliminates liability on their part and can hold the employee solely responsibility for any future missteps.

A remarkably effective way to fire a difficult employee


Insubordinate Employees in the Work Environment

Have you dealt with the employee who knows how to do everything? Can you not teach that old dog a new trick, like listening to the person who signs the checks? We believe the work environment can teach us a lot about how we deal with these situations. In the pressurized environment of a workplace, we cannot be a disciplinarian all the time. We need our employees to listen and respond, without the entitlement attitude or indifference.

Many human resource personnel and small business owners know they can turn around insubordination if they handle it correctly. If an employee acts insubordinate consistently, then reprimands can solve the problem. Of course, not all employees turn around their attitude.

Management can handle Insubordination or disobedience by giving a written warning, docking pay, removing vacation time, or simply talking with the employee. The employee may see these actions as a warning sign of worse things to come, and rightfully so. A good business cannot run with employees that do not want to perform their work. A good business has employees that are willing to cooperate and do their job the best they can.

Can an Insubordinate be a Valuable Employee?

An insubordinate employee can hurt the morale and success of a business. But do these disobedient employees have another side to them? In one instance, an employee might be disobedient because of flawed policies and rules. If they are a popular and instrumental key to your workforce then you may give them heed and listen to their reasoning behind being insubordinate. It could lead you to understanding why the business is running not as smoothly as you would like. It could turn things around with performance, and then you are the wiser employer.


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