New Jersey Discipline: What you need to know
Progressive discipline is a disciplinary model in which the severity of the discipline 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 in the public employment arena, but they are becoming increasingly common in the private sector.
There are two major issues 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, a progressive discipline procedure can, under certain circumstances, change an at-will employment relationship to a contractual one.
New Jersey courts have ruled that if a company has a progressive discipline procedure and promises in writing or orally that it will be followed (or performs it with absolute consistency over a reasonably long period), use of the procedure before termination may be considered “contractual” and thus be binding. The courts may look at several factors to decide whether a policy constitutes a contract. These factors relate to a policy's provisions and the context of its preparation and distribution to employees (Witkowski v. Thomas J. Lipton, Inc., 136 N.J. 385 (1994)). Specifically, courts may look at whether:
• The policy was pervasive and companywide;
• The pronouncements were an accurate representation of policy;
• The pronouncements were authorized to be made; and
• The employees had a reasonable expectation that the policy would apply to them (Gilbert v. Durand Glass Mfg. Co., 609 ...
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New Jersey 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.