April 2015 Brain Teaser

Brain Teaser Courtesy of EPLI Pro™

The issue: 

Every company has one, a difficult employee to deal with. They are late, insubordinate, poor performers, and well…just bad! To add insult to injury, you attempt to discipline this employee by writing her up. During your discussion, the employee exclaims, “I’m not signing that, it’s not true and I don’t agree with it!”

How should you handle this issue? 

A. You stop the meeting and shred the write up. What’s the point, she won’t sign it.

B. Terminate the employee for not signing the write up. That’s insubordination.

C. Write in “Refused to Sign” and the date on the employee signature line. The disciplinary action is valid and in force.

The answer is C.

This a common occurrence, especially with difficult employees who have no intention of adhering to your policies. They think they have found a loophole that keeps you from disciplining them. Not true. Make sure you write “Refused to Sign,” date the document, and give the employee a copy. Take notes of the meeting and whether the employee refused to sign and why. Include statements made by the employee. It is advised to have a witness, usually another manager, attend the disciplinary meeting to corroborate your account of the facts. If the employee claims they never received the disciplinary action, you can confidently testify that it was delivered, along with a witness statement, and a copy of the disciplinary action.