Wyoming Discipline laws & HR compliance analysis

Wyoming 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 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.
For a Limited Time receive a FREE HR Report on the "Critical HR Recordkeeping”.  This exclusive special report covers hiring records, employment relationships, termination records, litigation issues, electronic information issues, tips for better recordkeeping, and a list of legal requirements.  Download Now
Written policies. Despite being an at-will state, the Wyoming courts have held that specific statements contained in an employee handbook or policy manual may create an employment contract.
For example, the Wyoming courts have found that an employment contract existed because the employer had a progressive disciplinary policy that specifically required existence of cause for termination (Mobil Coal Producing Inc. v. Parks, 704 P.2d 702 (WY Sup. Ct. 1985)).
Oral statements. Wyoming courts have also found that employers can guard against creating employment contracts on the basis of oral statements by using conspicuous and unambiguous disclaimers in employment applications and subsequent relevant documents (such as employee handbooks) that give employees notice that general statements or conduct do not promise employment security and are not to be ...

Read more about Discipline