Written Reprimand But No Former Warning?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a “negative attitude”:

I recently received a written reprimand at work for having a “negative attitude” and tone of voice at a staff meeting. I had never received a verbal warning prior to this. They claimed that “several staff and clients have complained about my negativity” but would not provide any proof. Is this legal and how can I dispute it?

Signed, Not Warned

Dear Not Warned:

Your essential question is if giving a written reprimand without a verbal warning is legal. Yes, it is. For one thing, such issues aren’t regulated unless something has occurred which harms the employee and is the result of bias against a protected group. It doesn’t appear that is the case here.

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