Ask HR: What Should We Do If Our Employee Won't Sign a Written Warning?
Ask HR: What Should We Do If Our Employee Won't Sign a Written Warning?

Ask HR: What Should We Do If Our Employee Won't Sign a Written Warning?

Just when you think you’ve heard it all, one of your employees stumps you with a question you haven’t heard before. The pros at the HR Support Center really have heard it all—at least, until tomorrow.

Here is a recent question and expert advice from HR On-Demand, one of the features available to HR Support Center subscribers.

Question:
If an employee refuses to sign the documentation for a written warning, how should we respond?

Answer from Sarah, HR Pro:
When an employee refuses to sign a warning, we recommended you write "refused to sign" at the bottom of the notice. It is best if you have more than one person witness and attest to this refusal. Ideally, you and another manager would sign under this notation.

The employee’s refusal to sign the warning does not negate what was written. The employee still needs to comply with the requirements set out in the written warning.

The decision about whether to take additional action for the refusal to sign is case specific. In many instances, it is best to stick with the disciplinary procedure of whatever the written warning was about and take no further disciplinary action based on the employee not signing. This is especially true if the refusal is based on a grievance of the employee with regard to the underlying issue.

In some instances, however, the employee’s refusal and surrounding actions (yelling, cursing, etc.) may constitute insubordination, which would make additional discipline appropriate. In any case, upper management should be the one to review the write-up and the circumstances and make the call on any further discipline.

Sarah has extensive Human Resources experience in the legal, software, security and property preservation industries. She has a Business Communications degree from Villa Julie College (now Stevenson University) and a master’s certificate in Human Resources Management and a Strategic Organizational Leadership certification from Villa Nova University. Sarah is also a member of the National Society of Human Resources Management and has managed the HR function for small startup companies to mid-sized/large organizations.

Related resources:
The HR Pro's Guide: 5 Ways to Make an Impact at Work
Strike One, Strike Two…

More Ask HR:
Ask HR: Can a Worker Be Both an Employee and an Independent Contractor?
Can a Bee Sting Warrant a Workers' Compensation Claim?
How Can We Attract New Hires?

_This Q&A content is taken straight from the experts at HR Support Center. Click here to learn more about HR Support Center and HR On-Demand; we’d also love the chance to explain in person

More to Discover

Webinar: 2019 People Management Report - Perception Vs. Reality

Webinar: 2019 People Management Report - Perception Vs. Reality

Get the details behind our latest 2019 People Management Report as we discuss the difference between perceptions and reality.

EEO-1 Reporting Deadline For 2019

EEO-1 Reporting Deadline For 2019

For more than five decades, employers were required to submit the EEO-1 report by September 30 of each year. In 2018, that date changed to March 31. And this year, many employers were preparing to meet that deadline. But on February 1, 2019, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) notified all employers of an extension. The deadline to submit EEO-1 data was moved to May 31, 2019. Why the Extension to File the EEO-1 Report? Like many other federal agencies, the EEOC was impacted by the government shutdown. With resources stretched thin, the agency was unable to open the EEO-1 filing website as planned in January. As a result of the delay, employers were granted a two-month extension to continue gathering necessary data to...

Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp Case Study

Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp Case Study

Needing a more efficient solution to manage time worked for their seasonal and part-time staff, the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp turned to Paycor for help. Discover how Paycor’s robust Perform Time solution drastically improved how the ball club tracks and reports on hours worked.

Webinar: Top 10 Employment Mistakes for Small Businesses

Webinar: Top 10 Employment Mistakes for Small Businesses

This is a review of the top 10 HR compliance mistakes commonly made by small businesses. The goal is to help provide practical information that small business owners and HR professionals can use to help make their HR and recruiting practices compliant with both state and federal laws.