Michigan Discipline: What you need to know

Progressive discipline is a disciplinary model in which the severity of the penalty increases each time an employee commits an infraction. Generally, a progressive discipline scale begins with an oral reprimand, followed by a written warning, suspension, and finally, discharge. Progressive discipline procedures are most often found in collective bargaining agreements and in the public sector, but they are becoming increasingly common in the private sector.
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There are two major problems with having a progressive discipline procedure in an "at-will" employment relationship. First, it can be time-consuming to administer the steps and generate all the accompanying paperwork. Second, a progressive discipline procedure can, under certain circumstances, transform an otherwise at-will employment relationship into a contractual one.
In a groundbreaking case, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that an employer's establishment of policies can give rise to contractual rights even though the policy can be unilaterally amended without notice by the employer and contains no reference to a specific employee (Toussaint v. Blue Cross & Blue Shield, 408 Mich. 579 (1980)). Under the rationale of this case, an employee must only demonstrate that it was his or her reasonable expectation during the period of employment that the employer's policies were binding.
Michigan courts have recently begun to employ a more rigorous standard in interpreting oral statements or promises as implied employment contracts. They have recognized that oral promises are difficult to verify, especially in the employment context when employees may misinterpret an employer's oral statements as a promise of job security. Therefore, ...

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Michigan Discipline Resources

Discipline Products

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
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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. "
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