Termination of Employment – Lack of Previous Warning

Termination of Employment – Lack of Previous Warning

In a recent case, a company terminated an employee for sending an offensive email from their work email. The company stated they had warned the employee previously, and that the employee knew the consequences of sending another such email.

However, when pressed, the manager stated he had only had an informal discussion with the individual, not have a proper formal counselling session. He also admitted he had not recorded that an official warning had been given.

The company didn’t take the appropriate steps to check that the so called warning had occurred before acting on it. They had also waited for a period between standing the employee down and terminating their services.  During this time they had a chance to investigate but didn’t and were not as thorough as they should have been in the circumstance.

In any circumstance where a business is relying on previous warnings being given, they must always check the following:

  • the warning was actually provided
  • the warning being given to an employee has been understood

Simple lessons around taking the time to getting it right and using a 3rd party advice help ensure you make the best decision using all the information available to you.

Michael O'Shaughnessy

Michael is a specialist in all things HR. With vast HR experience in the USA and Australia, Michael brings a wealth of knowledge and advice to HR Central. When he's not blogging for HR Central you can find him out for dinner in one of Melbourne's newest restaurants.

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