Arizona Discipline: What you need to know
Progressive discipline is a disciplinary model in which the severity of the punishment increases each time an employee commits an infraction. Generally, the progressive discipline scale starts with an oral reprimand, followed by a written warning, suspension, and finally, termination. Progressive discipline procedures are most often found in collective bargaining agreements and the public employment arena, but they are becoming increasingly common in the private sector.
There are two major problems with having a progressive discipline procedure in an "at-will" relationship. First, it can be time-consuming to administer the steps and generate the supporting paperwork. Second, in very limited circumstances, a progressive discipline procedure can transform an at-will employment relationship into a contractual one.
Under Arizona's Employment Protection Act (EPA), in the absence of a written contract, private sector employment relationships are "severable at will" at any time by either the employer or the employee unless there is a written contract to the contrary specifying a duration of time for the employment relationship or otherwise restricting the right of either party to terminate the relationship. (AZ Rev. Stat. Sec. 23-1501).
A written contract may take the form of a legal document signed by both parties or it may be expressed in an employee handbook or manual distributed to employees provided that the handbook or manual specifically states that it is to be read as a contract of employment. Under the EPA, disciplinary policies in a handbook are unlikely to be viewed as binding on an employer unless the handbook states that it is to be read as a contract.
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Arizona Discipline Resources
QuikStep Guide to Discipline
QuikStep guides tell you what to do, how to do it, what to say, when to say it. All QuikStep guides feature a simple step-by-step solution with detailed instructions, samples, tips, and checklists."
Audio Click 'n Train: Progressive Discipline
This movie-like version of the powerpoint presentation with audio makes it easy to deliver progressive discipline training. This ready-to-deliver meeting gives you effective toolbox training - no preparation required! Includes meeting outlines, customizable PowerPoint® slides, handouts, quiz, trainer's guide and more!"
Click 'n Train: Progressive Discipline
Complete PowerPoint® training meeting made easy to deliver progressive discipline training to your supervisors. This ready-to-deliver meeting gives you effective toolbox training – no preparation required! Includes meeting outlines, customizable PowerPoint slides, handouts, and quizzes."
HR Audit Checklists
Created by employment law experts, this unique and practical handbook provides prewritten checklists that help spot and correct compliance problems before they become costly lawsuits. You get checklists on HR policies, job descriptions, safety and OSHA, compensation programs, hiring practices, performance measurement, telecommuting, flexible work hours and much, much more. "
10-Minute HR Trainer™
Here’s the system that gives you everything you need to train your supervisors and managers on the everyday HR skills they need. In just 10 minutes per session you can deliver effective training - without the hard work of preparation. From ADA to how to avoid termination problems, you get 50 prewritten trainer outlines, reproducible handouts, plus case studies and quizzes. Free quarterly updates.