It is not uncommon for employers to issue “write-ups” to employees that the employer deems have failed at the duties of the job. These documents are extremely important, given that employers often use them to create a “paper trail” that can justify the firing of the employee at a later date. Write-ups also may have an impact on the future employment perspectives of an employee.
If you are an employee and your employer issues you a write-up, you may wonder if you must sign it. According to FindLaw, in most cases, yes, an employer may fire an employee who does not sign a write-up.
What should I do if my employer issues me a write-up?
The first step is to read the write-up carefully. In some write-ups, the wordage does not explicitly state that the employee agrees with the content of the write-up. Instead, it merely states that the employee has read the write-up. Signing off that you have read a write-up is very different than agreeing with the content of the write-up.
It may also be possible for you to write a rebuttal to the write-up. In this instance, your employer will document your dispute with the write-up.
What if I am fired?
Due to the tenants of at-will employment in the US, employers do have a lot of latitudes to fire employees for many reasons. However, employers may not discriminate against workers based on protected statuses like race, religion, sex and national origin. If you experience workplace discrimination that leads to unwarranted write-ups and subsequent termination, you may have a wrongful termination case.