I am working as a HR officer in a sporting goods company. I have issued a written warning to one of our female employee for wearing an improper office attire despite of the dress code policy which is stated in our code of conduct manual. A day after giving the memo, I receive an appeal letter stating that the said employee is requesting for a written explanation from hr department regarding on the said memo. Should hr department explain in written to this? I need help. What could possibly the best solution to this. thanks
From Philippines, Olongapo
-- >The warning letter has to include the reason for issuing it as well as how it has violated the policy / certain disciplines followed by the company.

--> If have already included those details clearly, next lines shall include asking/demanding for the explanation from the person to whom it has been issued, asking for justification,

(since you can not punish any person without hearing to the other party, natural justice, one of the universal principles of law),

--> if you have mentioned the punitive actions which will be executed against her rather would be executed in case such indiscipline continues, then you are bound to give her the explanation....

In your case, it is better to have a personal talk with the person, and explaining her why the warning was issued, (your job pressure to maintain the cultural standards at the workplace) and you may again inform her that if she fails to respond to the warning then next steps would be taken against her, and during this meeting you may demand the explanation from her before she demands it from you.......

If she wants it in writing then, you may write a letter with the same reasons as mentioned in the warning letter and strictly state that the company policy is meant for its execution, and do not forget the explanation from that side.......

and make sure there are no personal intentions behind such acts as one of the duties of HR is to maintain not just Human relations but Healthy relations with the employer and employee........

From India, Bangalore
A 1000 credit to BSSV to explain and remedial actions,

even I do not get it....

"A warning letter to a female employee wearing improper dress despite proper dress code"

Is HR is for making things simple or to make every one life a hell...

Fist of all HRDTIN this forum is becoming more like " come sit and solve a riddle".

HRDTIN is left us clueless, whether he discuss it with the employee's superior, whether he verbally or in written communicated his concern to that employee, whether there is a scope of warning letter in dress code policy, and also have you spoken to your senior. You did not even share the content of warning letter (I guess it must states that "you are wearing improper dress" & "action will be taken if you repeat this in future")

Like to know if she comes in IMPROPER dress in future will you fire her..........if not what is the value of your warning letter.

I am sure that lady must have feel offended and she has all the right to do so, we are HR professionals and not Taliban or Khap Panchayat.

Now what BSSV has stated send her a reply mentioning the enforceability of the rules....... please avoid big words as warning, improper dress (like to know what is proper a "BURKA" I guess)... try to resole with out delay, it will spread unrest in organisation and will start a topic of NEED OF HR in your office.

Rupendra Chahar

From India, Gurgaon
Hello hrdtin:
You state that you have issued a Warning Letter. Normally Warning Letters are issued, after a couple of verbal warnings. Also, these are not "Show Cause" Notices. I gather you have made it clear that her dressing is violating the documented dress code of the Company. Obviously, you must have mentioned the details of the mis-behaviour/incidents such as date etc. Since it is warning letter, it is assumed that you have not asked her for any explaination - just warned her for not repeating, else face the consequences (which is what normally is mentioned in the Warning letter).
Therefore, it is not clear as to what she is requesting in writing. If possible, please share the documentation so that you can get appropriate advise.
Kalpana Iyer

From India, Pune
Dear friends,
I presume the "scene/place of action" is Philippines, if so this has to be viewed with conditions prevailing there. India is different I hope. However, I suggest the HR or the HOD of the concerned should have talked the female employee in a friendly atmosphere and advice as appropriate should have been passed on to her. I think this friendly advice should solve the issue. Probably a female Sr. should be used to drive home the point in it.

From India, Bangalore
Dear hrdtin,
My questions to you are:
1. Who has committed or committing the alleged misconduct, you or the lady?
2. If the lady has committed or committing the alleged misconduct, how she is asking for written explanation from you on the warning memo issued to her?
It is a skill of HR to handle such kind of situation. If HR is strong enough with knowledge, fare and firm with employees, no one can dare to question HR.
I wish you good luck to handle the issue.
Thanks and regards.
Keshav Korgaonkar
Shantadurgaent.com,Insurance Advisors,Corporate Advisors,Legal Advise,Wage and salary,Shantadurgaent.com,Labour Compliance Audit,SSI registration,NOC from

From India, Mumbai
The best way as an HR is give what she want, stating what mistake she did, how that effect the company code and how the impact will be on the other employes, so for that u gave a written warning so that she don\'t repeated again. Please know in future, the procedure of all these kind of disciplinary actions taken after the meeting with person,telling about the mistakes what she/he did and finishing in the same room by taking there sign on the papers for u r future references and that will remain on there records for any further steps of actions done.
From United Kingdom, Farnborough
Mr. Rupendra Chahar,

I very well appreciate for your greatness of upholding my reply as a mistake and being completely wrong.

"Opinions always differ", they are like wrist watches, every one thinks there time is correct and follow there own.....

I wish you could able to understand the difference between the policy and the rules.....

Secondly, I also wish you could able to understand that the person being in HR position would probable know the basics,

Thirdly, when you have admitted the fact that you haven't understood anything, what kind of conscious mind of yours is involved in something called sarcasm which succeed successfully replying for the dis-understood ....

fourthly, I wish you to understand that the person has asked for the further process, since he has realized that the warning letter may be a mistake.....

fifthly, system is not so easy compared to India with we Indians, you shall atleast know the bit of something about something before placing other things on that something (never mind if you fail to understand)

and regarding the Cite and solving riddles!!, I do not know about that, but i would surely say that since 2007, as per my awareness about this Cite since then, I could only observe and make out that the major topics for discussions are already made, so it had reached to the optimum level, hence, assuming about the one who would refer this cite might know the basics of HRM depending on the kind of questions one asks, the replies are given accordingly, and and solving riddles need a lot of brain usage than suggesting, So I am so glad to know that the intention of the Cite is being appreciated to the core in a subtle way.....

At last, what ever is my reply are only my "wishes" shared with you (neither opinions not the points for debate), so thank you and thank you so much for your reply and I totally appreciated your well maturity.... Wish to learn more from you, hope you help this immature person to become matured like you .........

From India, Bangalore
thanks for all the response..but i would like to give a clearer insight to the issue;
~in our policy based on our code of conduct manual, inappropriate dress is a violation. 3days suspension will be dealt on 1st offense and will progress if repeated.
~i caught female employee wearing inappropriate attire, instead of giving her 3days suspension, i gave her stern written warning stating that she\'s not wearing proper office attire and that repetition of said act will be dealt accordingly. she signed the memo.
~a day after, the said employee gave me an appeal letter demanding me to explain why did i issued such memo to her and the basis of it.
~ is hr accountable to explain in written regarding her offense when it is clearly indicated in the employee manual that the act has sanctions?
~ i know at some point, my action was not fair, i just followed what is in the policy. (and i did not humiliated her in the first place. she actually announced it to her department. and also

From Philippines, Olongapo
Your code has a loophole in it, it shall explain atleast in brief what amounts to the violation of dress code, to say many such codes do explain, for example like the skirt shall be below the knees, shall cover the abdomen, colors are must for male employees ....

As I know the labour laws in there are very supportive to the employees and has strong impact when it comes to harassment, it's because unlike in India where employee has to prove the case but in there the employer owe the responsibility to prove the guilty, i would only suggest that anything written makes it more complicated, so call her for a personal talk and give her the copy of the code of conduct and explain your situation and duty to follow the same. And clear her the point that it was not the result of personal indifference but the pressure being the HR forced to do so...... be amicable, and come to a settlement that the warning letter will be taken back but that does not mean giving the right to the employee to disobey the code...... with this she shall have to understand and compromise, but if she demands for the letter of explanation then become an HR and send her the explanation through your superior and not just by you.......

why, I am implying more on oral conversation is because if once the letter issued has demanded the reply which would bind someone quite seriously crosses the boundaries of HR and touches the line of legal........ so one being an HR, especially dealing with labour matters must never forget or neglect this part, otherwise it leads to the unwanted complications imbalances at workplace...............

In Philippines the three factors are considered very important, interests of the employees, motivation and CONTROL, balancing these are the responsibility of the employer, and I have also heard that the top management supports more the employees than the middle level executive, because they believe throwing out one executive is productive then shaking the productive process and inviting the legal issues and labour problems, yours is not that big issue, but just an information......... and I request you to enhance my knowledge by sharing your knowledge on Philippines employee related management skills, practices, laws and if there are any special preferences in HR practices...........

Hope this would help you......

Have a nice day.......

From India, Bangalore

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