At Fortson, Bentley and Griffin, our employment law attorneys work with human resource directors and business owners to ensure compliance with state and federal laws related to their employment matters. It is important that supervisors understand how to properly handle disciplinary matters. Procedures should include proper documentation for the personnel file and implementation of counseling guidelines that employees perceive as fair. Documentation of personnel matters should include who did what, where, and when and should note witnesses to the events. Documentation should also include the counseling and any admissions made by the employee, but it should not be a mere accusation or conclusion. Finally, it is important to get the documentation into the personnel file.
Supervisors should be trained to prepare prior to any counseling session. Preferably, counseling should be done in private with a management witness present. It is important to be straight forward and honest about why the action is being taken. Harsh or derogatory language should be avoided, as should a situation aimed at degrading or humiliating an employee. Supervisors should never counsel in anger and should avoid being judgmental.
Finally, supervisors should pursue a dialogue and, when appropriate, agree with the employee on goals and a date to review the employee’s progress.
Employment and personnel matters arise in many different circumstances and often present situations not previously considered by business owners and human resource directors. Our attorneys are prepared to provide the guidance and counseling you need to navigate difficult circumstances.
If you are seeking experienced legal representation for an employment law matter, please contact us online or by telephone at 706-548-1151 to speak with one of our experienced employment law attorneys.