Employee Rights About Written Reprimand

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about copy of write up:

Does an employee have a right to get a copy of a written reprimand from an employer?

Signed, Needing answers

Dear Needing answers:

There is no law or regulation that requires employers to provide a copy of a written reprimand to an employee. Many companies have policies and procedures that provide the details of how the stages of discipline are handled, so you may want to check about that with HR or in your employee handbook or manual. Otherwise, ask if you can have a copy. If you are told no by a supervisor ask if you can request it from the level higher. If you’re as high as you can go with it, ask if you can at least see a copy of it again. Then, copy it by hand or simply focus on remembering the details.

Most reprimands are not lengthy and often (not always) the issue involved has been mentioned before. Thus, writing down a few dates and times is likely all that is needed to be able to remember it accurately.It is certainly more effective for employers to give an employee a copy of anything that is going in a personnel folder or anything that they are expected to remember or use as training or correction. There is no reason not to provide it and many reasons for doing so. You don’t mention whether you are the employee or the supervisor, but I expect you are the employee. See if you can keep this situation from becoming so bad your job is in jeopardy.

Focus on what the reprimand was about rather than on the piece of paper that contains the reprimand. If you intend to seek legal assistance your attorney will be able to get the document. If you don’t intend to take this to an attorney for an opinion about a civil suit, you will need to decide how far you want to push it.So……try asking, asking at a higher level or just re-reading it or copying it. If those aren’t possible, you may find it will be easier to move forward with your life and work (and decide if that is the kind of place where you wish to work anyway.) Best wishes to you!

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.