An employee warning letter is a written caution by an employer to an employee admonishing unacceptable conduct, behavior or action on the employee’s part. A warning letter is usually preceded by one or several verbal warnings and it is used as a last resort by an employer to inform the employee that his or her misdemeanors won’t be taken lightly going forward thereof. A letter of warning may, however, not necessarily be preceded by verbal warnings if the offense in question too big to just let slide with a measly verbal warning.

In many practices, the employer extends up to three letters of warning to an employee after which the employee is termed not fit for work. The third warning letter usually coincides with the employee’s dismissal with the management citing the several delinquencies as the cause for firing. In cases where an offense is too great, an employer may decide to severe terms with his subordinate as opposed to waiting till the third warning letter.

The benefit of employee letter of warning to an employer

Letters of warning are meant to protect the employer. They serve as a record of wrongdoings by a specific employee and when the said employee signs off on it, he/she agrees that he/she did commit the said mistake.

In many instances, they are backed up with other documentation such as performance reviews or attendance records. When the employer finally decides to dismiss the employee, then he/she has ample evidence showing how the employee underperformed, should the employee sue the company or look to cause a labor dispute.

A typical warning letter

Although letters of warning will vary from employer to employer, there is a certain flow that is common on all of them.

  • They will usually start off by stating the offense by the employee in great detail, including time of incidence and any accomplices.
  • The employer then points out that the stated offense is unacceptable and against the rules and regulations of the company. Some instances will have the employer stating the exact part of the company’s rules and regulations act that the employee has gone against.
  • It continues to tell the employee to treat the letter as a warning for said behavior before going forward to state any punishment that will be taken if any. Some forms of punishments include money deductions or demotions.
  • Finally, the employee is asked to overcome such behaviors and acts contrary to which further action will be taken, including suspension, demotions or dismissal from work.