An Employee Disciplinary Form For Easier Management (Download)

A supervisor speaks to an employee regarding their employee disciplinary form. Learn more at

One of the cornerstones of effective management is having clear protocols for dealing with performance or conduct issues promptly and fairly. For this reason, an Employee Disciplinary Form can serve as an invaluable tool, providing a streamlined, transparent process for managing these challenges.

In this guide to using the Employee Discipline Form, we’ll discuss the elements of the form, what’s included, what you need to have, and some best practices to help you create a standardized protocol. So, if you want your job managing others to go more smoothly, please read on, and don’t forget to bookmark the page for future reference.

What Is An Employee Discipline Form?

An Employee Disciplinary Form is a formal document employers use to record and manage performance or behavior-related issues that do not align with company standards or policies.

It serves as a written warning, a way to document the discussion between management and the team member, and a legal record that could be referenced if further disciplinary actions or termination are necessary.

Whether you use our template, our digital form on our mobile application, or create a custom form, several things should find their way onto your template. Let’s see what’s included in our downloadable PDF form and what you should include in yours.

Included In The Employee Discipline Form

The Employee Disciplinary Form has seven primary components. We’ll review each to ensure we’re on the same page.

  • Administrative Filing Section
    • This section holds the following information:
      • Team Member Name
      • Date of Hire
      • Team Member Role 
      • Employee Number
      • Department
      • Supervisor Name
  • Violation Information
    • This section holds the following information:
      • Violation Type
      • Violation Date and Time
      • Violation Location
  • Employer Statement
    • The employer includes their statement about the event or occurrence in this section.
  • Employee Statement
    • The team member includes their statement about the event or occurrence.
  • Disciplinary Action
    • The employer outlines the disciplinary action required following the situation in this section.
  • Previous Violations
    • If the team member has received previous warnings, these must find their way onto the report similarly.
  • Acknowledgment
    • The acknowledgment section holds places for relevant stakeholder signatures, including for the team member and supervisor. If a third party created the report, they, too, may sign their name and date.

How Do You Write A Discipline Form?

Writing an appropriate, concise, comprehensive disciplinary report or form is critical for several reasons. First, if improperly worded, it can be a legal problem for the employer. Second, it can be a source of embarrassment if leaked publicly, depending on the wording chosen.

So, how do you write a discipline form correctly? To write a discipline form properly (with respect, grace, conciseness, and comprehensiveness), you must follow some basic principles noted below.


Apply rules and consequences equally to all employees, regardless of rank or relationship with the manager. Inconsistent discipline can lead to perceptions of favoritism or bias.

Try standardizing your protocols. Include a comprehensive company policies guide and develop your SOPs (standard operating procedures). Furthermore, standardize the appropriate actions and steps taken when a team member deviates from acceptable behaviors.


Rely on facts rather than emotions or personal biases. Always strive to collect all relevant information before making a decision. Maintaining an objective stance builds trust with other team members that you will always handle situations appropriately.


Ensure that the punishment fits the crime. Don’t over-punish minor infractions or under-punish major ones. Here is where emotions can run aground, especially if a team member feels they are mistreated.

The solution here is to standardize procedures, company policies, and the consequences for violating your company policies, procedures, and standards.


Be clear about expectations and the consequences of not meeting them. You should ensure to include these expectations and consequences in the team member handbook or code of conduct that each team member receives. Further refresher training is a good idea, at least annually, to remind employees of the policies to which you expect adherence.


Document every step of the disciplinary process, including the nature of the misconduct, actions taken, and communication with the team member and stakeholders. It serves as a legal record if disputes arise later.


Respect the privacy of the team member (or members) involved. Information should only be shared with those who need to know. It is your duty as a manager to maintain a comfortable working environment for everyone, regardless of whether or not one has broken the policy.

Right to Representation

If applicable, respect the team member’s right to have a representative or union official present during disciplinary meetings. Including a witness in meetings involving disciplinary actions are always a good idea for a manager. However, it’s equally essential that witnesses remain witnesses and not act or communicate in a way that constrains objectivity. Furthermore, witnesses must maintain a respectful third party and keep the decision-making to the managers responsible for such actions.


Clearly communicate the problem, expected changes, consequences if changes aren’t made, and the support or resources available to help the team member improve.

Furthermore, provide the team member with a copy of any disciplinary forms or documents that you will maintain on file. It gives the team member a fair chance at redemption.

Opportunity to Improve

Speaking of redemption, whenever possible, disciplinary actions should be more about correction than punishment. The goal is to help team members improve their behavior or performance, not punish them for mistakes. Further training is often a significant component of disciplinary actions.

Legal Compliance

Ensure you comply with all local, state, territorial, provincial, and federal labor and employment laws. Consult with a Human Resources professional or legal counsel in your area when in doubt.

How Do You Respectfully Discipline An Employee?

Although we touched on this briefly, the core concept here is to provide the team member with an understanding as to why their actions were inappropriate. Further training may be required, often involving testing to ensure training retention. 

Ensuring you maintain objective fairness to all stakeholders is crucial. Remember, you are there to help create a better, more efficient work environment, including assisting those struggling with company policies to strive to be better team members.

Disciplinary Steps

Luckily, there are some common steps to take for the disciplinary cycle of a team member.

  1. Verbal warning. Although we believe it’s essential to note that a verbal warning was communicated, many companies do not make a formal note of verbal warnings.
  2. Written Warning. Using a tool like our Employee Discipline Form or the 1st Reporting app, the typical second offense requires the team member to receive a written and formal warning of misconduct.
  3. Suspension. A third offense for a team member usually means a suspension and further training for improvement. However, it is critical to note that you must once again provide a written document, like our Employee Disciplinary Form, to the team member in question. We recommend you maintain a copy of this report for your records.
  4. Termination. The final act on a fourth offense relieves the team member of their position at your company. Think of it like this: Every team member gets three chances – one verbal, two written – if they miss all three, they strike out just like in baseball.

Closing Remarks

Navigating the challenging landscape of team member discipline is a complex task. Still, with the right tools and approach, you can handle it with grace, efficiency, and fairness. Central to this process is a well-structured Employee Disciplinary Form, acting as a guiding light for managers in handling situations professionally and systematically.

We hope this article has empowered you to understand better the Employee Disciplinary Form and how to employ it effectively in your workplace. Remember, the purpose of discipline is not punishment but the cultivation of growth, improvement, and a healthier work environment. 

By keeping consistency, objectivity, fairness, transparency, and respect at the heart of the disciplinary process, you foster trust and understanding among your team members.

While we have provided a downloadable PDF form to assist you, we encourage you to take it one step further. The 1st Reporting application allows you to customize the form according to your organization’s unique requirements. Customization can help ensure that your disciplinary form aligns perfectly with your company’s culture, policies, and specific needs. By utilizing the application, you can tailor the document to resonate with your team and enhance your management strategies.

Managing a team is an art and a science, balancing the needs of the organization with the needs of the individual. Using the right tools, such as the Employee Disciplinary Form and the 1st Reporting application, and the right approach, you can navigate disciplinary issues more smoothly and create a more harmonious workplace for everyone.

Remember, the goal isn’t just to correct behaviors; it’s to create a culture where everyone strives for excellence. Try our Employee Disciplinary Form and the 1st Reporting application, and see how they can enhance your management practices.

Join the globally-recognized brands that trust 1st Reporting to safeguard their organizations!