News & Events

Q & A

BOP NEWSLETTER • November 2022

Q: I need your help with a question. When we give an employee a write-up and they refuse to sign it, what do I need to do/say?

A: There are a number of options that can be deployed if an employee refuses to sign a disciplinary write-up:

1) Ask the employee who refuses to sign the document to write at the bottom, “I refuse to sign” and initial their written statement.

2) If the employee will not write that statement, have your witness to your counseling meeting or yourself write at the bottom of the document, “Employee refused to sign” and then get the signature of the person who wrote the statement. You can go straight to this option if you do not want to try number one.

3) Ask the employee to draft a rebuttal to the counseling to be included with your document in their personnel file.

  • In options one through three, you are just trying to get proof that the meeting occurred and the employee was put on notice that performance and/or behavior concerns were addressed and need to be corrected.

4) Explain to the employee that not signing the document is insubordination and is grounds for termination. If they continue to refuse to sign, you terminate their employment. (We generally do not recommend this choice, but it is an option.)

Whether you get some type of acknowledgment or not, we recommend that you be clear with the employee regarding the following:

  • that a refusal to sign does not change the fact that they must meet the stated expectations immediately and going forward; and
  • that if expectations are not met, further disciplinary action up to and including their termination will occur.