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(Left to right) Stewart Hoffer (partner), Kasi Chadwick (senior counsel) and Miranda Granchi (attorney); all at Hicks Thomas LLP. (Courtesy photos)

A progressive discipline policy (PDP) requires employers to provide multiple warnings before disciplining an employee, and the severity of the penalty increases with each employee infraction. While there can be many advantages to a PDP, those advantages are often lost in the execution. In a perfect world, managers involve human resources (HR) at the very beginning, so HR can guide the manager to a decision that is policy-compliant.  But let’s face it. We don’t live in a perfect world. We see cases all the time where a frustrated manager has given some employee the heave-ho but only then calls HR as a courtesy to let them know it happened. This “shoot first, ask questions later” approach often leads to a bad day at the courthouse for employers. For those employers whose HR departments typically only hear of employment issues after an adverse employment action is done, this article is for you.

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