I Was Written Up at Work in Florida; What Can I Do?
Most employers have a procedure for disciplinary actions within the company, especially larger companies with many employees. The procedures are intended to allow an employer the opportunity to remedy the situation before an employee elects to take further legal action.. If your company has an employee handbook, it is smart to ensure you have the most current copy of the employee handbook for reference as to the company’s policies. You should read and understand the disciplinary policies of the company. However, just because the Handbook dictates a certain procedure does not mean you do not have other legal remedies for your work issues. These questions may be properly addressed by seeking counsel from a Florida employment attorney.
If you believe you have been written up at work in violation of law, harassed by a supervisor, or falsely accused of something you did not do, you may have a claim against your employer under federal employment laws and Florida employment statutes. Additionally, there may be cases where provisions in the company handbook themselves are against the law. Contact the Florida employment attorneys of Scott Wagner and Associates, P.A. to schedule a consultation. We offer telephonic consultations and video teleconferencing through Skype and FaceTime in addition to meeting with you in our offices.
What should you do if you are written up at work?
Mistakes that happen in the workplace or poor decisions by an employee may result in the employee being written up by his employer. As an employment at will state, Florida employers may be permitted to discipline the employee if the discipline does not violate federal, state, or constitutional law. Still, if you are written up, you should consider the following:
Remain calm and professional – This may be difficult if you feel you are being falsely accused of something you did not do or if your supervisor or employer is being abusive during the meeting. Remain professional and do not lose your temper. Even in the course of your complaint, you should avoid actions which may be deemed “insubordinate,” and could be a separate basis for the employer taking adverse action.
Review the supporting documentation – Ask to review the documentation that supports why you are being written up at the same time you are reviewing the notice of disciplinary action. You can request copies of this documentation and a copy of the notice; however, if you are not a public employee, the employer is not typicallylegally required to provide you with copies of any documents in your employee record. If this is the case, try to make as many mental notes regarding what you review and immediately write those down when you leave the meeting.
Review the notice carefully – If you disagree with the alleged facts and/or events contained in the notice of disciplinary action, you may consider a request that you be permitted to add the details of your version of the facts to the notice, such as a rebuttal. If the employer will not permit you to do this, you should maintain your own contemporaneous journal and/or notes of the facts, including as much detail as possible (i.e. names, places, dates, etc.).
Signing the notice – If your employer requires you to sign the notice to acknowledge receipt of a copy or acknowledge that you have been provided the information verbally after reviewing the document but you disagree with the notice, take caution about refusing to sign. In some circumstances, your refusal can be deemed an act of insubordination, subject to additional disciplinary action. Instead, consider including a note under your signature that you “disagree with the events and details of this notice.” However, this analysis may change if your you believe that your signature and/or participation in the action would constitute a violation of a law, rule, or regulation.
- Contact an attorney – If you feel you are being treated unfairly or your rights have been violated, contact Scott Wagner and Associates, P.A. as soon as possible to determine if you have a case against your employer.
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