Compliance Made Easy. Prioritize Workforce Safety. Return to Productivity. COVID-19 Safety Program.
Learn More
KPA Logo

Ask the HR Expert — Can we take disciplinary action against this employee?

Camille Bradbury /
Text: "Ask the HR Expert"

Q: One of our managers was watching the cameras when he saw an employee reading. This employee closed the book when a customer approached, but then resumed reading after the interaction. Can we take disciplinary action against this employee?

A: Based on the information you provided, was this employee already given a verbal warning that recreational reading on the job is not allowed? Have they been disciplined for similar violations in the past? This impacts the level of discipline that’s appropriate at this time. Regardless, reading a book not related to someone’s position is considered a policy violation under “loitering or loafing during working time.” We recommend basing the language of the verbal and/or written warning off of your policy.

Bottom Line:
When taking disciplinary action, employers must respond to employees in consistent ways. Has a similar situation ever come up at your company? Do you have a policy to address it? Consider counseling this employee and reviewing any expectations you have for others in similar situations and positions.

LinkedIn Twitter Facebook Email Print Software: Point Solutions Services: Compliance Services Services: Workplace Health and Safety Services Services: Environmental Risk Management Services About: Leadership Software: Online Training About: Who We Are Resources: Library Industries: Automotive Industries: Distribution Industries: Food and Beverage Industries: Manufacturing Industries: Construction Industries: Energy Industries: Insurance Industries: Transportation Resources: Events and Webinars Resources: Blog YouTube