Ed Llarena, Jr.
Owner/ Managing Partner
Casino Manager

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An employee was disciplined (Written Warning) 13 months ago. We have a progressive discipline policy where you start with a clean sheet after 12 months of discipline-free performance. If the employee then commits a simmilar violation, can previous discipline which has dropped off be considered in giving discipline. The manager said to the employee that if another employee had committed the same violation, they would have received a Verbal Warning. But since this employee had previous violations (over 12 months old), a suspension was given.
Is this fair/ legal/ correct ?

Definitely NOT legal & definitely not fair. I think there should be some professionalism when following rules & if the rule says that the employee starts with a clean chit after 12 months of disciplined behavior this is definitely a violation of the rule.
I guess the action that can be taken will depend upon your state laws & would also depend upon how the employee has faired in his/her job during the tenure. But I am a little unsure whether the employer is at any fault as most probably the employee was given the verbal warning after a few errors in his/her behavior. Thus a little difficult to judge from where I am standing [or rather sitting :)].
CiteHR Team


What the company policy mandates, when it is not contrary to an existing law (national or local) must be implemented. Otherwise, the company would "lose face" and credibility, if it will not implement its policy. A company would do well to reduce a penalty, but not in recovering and re-imposing a penalty that has been waived.

When the progressive discipline process says that an employee starts with a "clean sheet" after twelve (12) months, then he is free from the "first offense" committed twelve months ago for the same infraction.

If this policy is seen to be incorrect or not practical by some managers, then it must be amended, not violated.

The manager who violates the policy must be subject to appropriate discipline. He is putting the company at risk by his actions.

In this case, he can be charged with "Unfair Labor Practice" by the union, or by the concerned employee himself.

A good manager must show positive example in obeying and implementing company policies and procedures.

Best wishes.

Ed Llarena, Jr.

Managing Partner

Emilla Consulting

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