Responding To A Written Warning

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about responding to a warning:

I have been given a written warning for misconduct. Basically I did not redeem a mortgage in time. Neither the Accounts Dept. nor my boss alerted me that there was 270k still in the client account three weeks after completion. I do not agree it is misconduct or worthy of a written warning. I was not notified it was a disciplinary nor have I ever received a verbal warning. How long do I have to respond?

Signed, Warned In Writing

Dear Warned In Writing:

I know of no rule or law about how long one giving a written warning has to reply. There probably is no time limit unless it is a policy of your particular workplace. Since you were warned in writing, respond in writing with a request that your explanation be added to your file. Rather than allow this matter to become old business, wouldn’t it be wise to respond within a week? In your response, make the case that you were not told this was a disciplinary matter nor were you warned verbally; and therefore you are requesting that the warning be rescinded. Don’t stew to yourself or coworkers about this. Don’t be sour if it isn’t deleted. Rather with a professional attitude speak with the one who wrote you up. State your determination to learn from mistakes and to contribute in every way you can to make your agency/company successful.

Frequent and candid communication with your superior might have prevented this “misconduct” warning and it can help prevent mistakes in the future. If your boss doesn’t initiate that kind of interaction, you can. Without being a pest, you can make it a habit to check about assignments and to ask how well are things going. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, and that is what you want for your boss, yourself and your company.

William Gorden