Can I Refuse To Sign Documents?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about signing:

Do I have to sign every document and/or written communication that is presented to me? I want to refuse sometimes.

Signed, Unsigned For Now

Dear Unsigned For Now:

Whether or not you can refuse to sign a document or communication depends upon the rules and policies of your organization and the nature of the document. In almost all organizations, your signature on disciplinary or corrective documents only provides a record that you did, in fact, receive the information. You are not required to sign, and if you do not a supervisor writes, “Refused to sign” and witnesses that you did receive it.The practice of having employees sign was started to protect employees from having supervisors put negative information in personnel folders, but not telling the employees about it. It is often, incorrectly, viewed by employees as indicating agreement with the correction or reprimand, and they don’t want to sign.Most organizations will allow employees to write a brief note next to their signature, such as, “Received, but do not agree.”

read more