Discipline policies and enforcement continue to be hot-button topics for
many HR departments. The professionals at HR Support Center often
encounter questions from employers about disciplinary techniques and
best practices and are skilled at handling all types of situations,
including this topic.
Can we reduce an employee’s hours as a disciplinary measure?
We do not recommend reducing hours as a disciplinary measure, as it does
not directly address the performance or behavioral issue that the
employee is having. Unless reducing hours is already a common practice
in your workplace, it could be challenged on the basis of fairness,
consistency with your policy, or discrimination. For example, if no
other employees have had a reduction in hours for disciplinary reasons,
this employee could claim they’re being unfairly targeted and that the
discipline was actually a result of their inclusion in a protected class
(e.g., if the employee is over 40 years old or practices a particular
Instead, we advise that you follow a progressive disciplinary process
and put the employee on a performance improvement plan (PIP), addressing
poor performance and behavioral issues as soon as they arise. In this
case, we recommend that you meet with the employee to discuss the
performance and behavioral problems, and document your expectations
going forward. Treating the employee consistently with your policy and
documenting the steps of the disciplinary/PIP process will be useful if
any of your decisions are later challenged by an employee claim.
This content came from a team of HR professionals at HR Support Center.
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