Can I Be Disciplined A Year After The Event?


Would a disciplinary procedure be needed after a year?




Dear Wondering:

Your question is a bit vague to answer in detail, but I can provide a general answer, if you are asking if there is a “statute of limitations” on workplace discipline.

Unless you have a union contract that states differently, employers can usually take action about any event, any time. It is less likely if the action was only a slight infraction of the rules (it has been discovered that you were not actually sick when you called in sick last year.) It is more likely if the action was serious (It has only recently been discovered that you misused equipment or violated a major rule or committed a safety violation, for example.) The best way to respond is to be able to truthfully say that you have never done such a thing since then and never will again, and that you truly regret what you did a year ago.

Best wishes as you work through this situation.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.