Example of an Employee Letter of Reprimand

| April 4, 2013 | 0 Comments

A Letter of reprimand can be used in defense of the actions taken against an employee, if at some stage a Company finds itself having to contend with a disaffected employee and/or their attorney. It needs to be drafted carefully, and then checked out by the Company lawyers.

Reprimanding an employee is not a position that anyone wants to be in, but as a boss or supervisor, it is sometimes a necessary part of the job. Employees might be reprimanded for any number of reasons. Each company should have a protocol on how to handle every situation that members of the staff might encounter. In order to avoid misunderstandings, there should be a clear list of objectives and expected outcomes.

If rules are broken or guidelines not followed, there should be a series of predetermined consequences set up in writing. Having these guidelines in place will ensure that employees know what is expected of them and they can act accordingly. It will leave little room for doubt, in knowing what action to perform if an employee needs to be reprimanded because of a certain action, or inaction.

Finding the right words when creating a letter of reprimand can be difficult. One does not want to come across as either too lenient or too harsh. These letters can be used to point out an obvious violation and disregard for the stated company rules, or may serve as a warning. Warning letters should clearly spell out what action, if any, will be taken if the current behavior or activity continues.

State clearly what the employee is being reprimanded for and state clearly what happened. Give specific details regarding what was said or done that violated the rules, as well as names of the particular employees involved, and dates and times when the behavior is said to have occurred. Because they are so detailed and specific, letters like this leave little room for doubt and misunderstanding.

Below we have given you an example that can be used as a framework for your own individual circumstances, while adapting it for your own Company use.

You need to ensure that your Employee Letter of Reprimand is so clear that there will be no legal repercussions when you use it to warn an employee that they have breached Company rules

This employee reprimand letter should be written on your Company letterhead and follow guidelines that have been checked out by the company lawyers .

  • In the first paragraph, summarize the reason for the written reprimand.
  • In the second paragraph, refer to previous discussions held with the employee over this very issue.  It is important to include dates when such discussions took place (therefore diary notes should have been taken at the time).  Then list the number of times those rules have been broken since those discussions, and the dates when that happened.
  • In the next paragraph, state the problems that result from the employee’s failure to perform according to the Company standards and Code of Practice.
  • In the final paragraph, state the consequence of failure to correct this behavior.  If there is any possibility that the behavior could end in dismissal, the employee must be warned of that possibility.
  • Above the employee signature block, provide an “Employee Acknowledgement of Receipt”, stating that the employee’s signature to this document is a record that they have received the letter of reprimand, even though they may not have agreed with its content.

The complete example of our Employee Letter of Reprimand

This is what your completed letter will look like –

To:                   Julie Fitzgerald

From:  Catherine Moss, Director of Human Resources

Date:   27 August 2012

RE: Letter of Reprimand

This is an official written reprimand, owing to your continued failure to report to work daily at the time and place scheduled, for you to be able to carry out your job.

You were previously warned, on 15 July 2012, about the importance of reporting to work at the proper time and place. Since that date, you have reported to your scheduled worksite late on three occasions: on 20 July, 10 August and 20 August.

With this letter of reprimand, I wish to impress upon you the importance of reporting to the proper worksite on time each day. When you fail to report at the time and place scheduled, this creates an additional burden for other members of your team. It impacts on efficiency and productivity.  The other members of the team resent it, and therefore it has a negative effect on morale.

Attendance at work, on time and as scheduled, is a core requirement of your job description. Continuing attendance problems, in further violation of the agreement we reached in our discussion on 15 July 2012, may result in additional disciplinary action.  This could include the possibility of suspension without pay and/or dismissal from our employment.

A copy of this letter of reprimand will be placed in your official personnel file.

(Signature):  Julie Fitzgerald

Name of Supervisor:


Acknowledgement of Receipt

I acknowledge receipt of this written reprimand. My acknowledgement does not necessarily signify my agreement with its content. I understand that a copy of this reprimand will be placed in my official personnel file and that I have the right to prepare a written response that will be attached to the original letter of reprimand.


Employee Name: Julie Fitzgerald


Comments About your Employee Letter of Reprimand

  • The written reprimand provides documentation for the employer. It is a serious call for immediate improved performance by the employee.
  • This sample reprimand letter will serve as a guide as you prepare reprimand letters. Use this reprimand example when the performance of your employee warrants a formal, official, documented reprimand.
  • Make sure it is approved by the company legal experts, so that there will be no legal repercussions if the employee elects to take the company to Court

Download This Letter Example

Category: Letters of Reprimand Examples

About the Author ()

Melanie Walters is a writer and editor for several businesses both online and offline. Her experience with writing business letters and marketing materials has helped her understand exactly what works in written communication for businesses. In the 10 years she's been writing, Melanie has amassed a large collection of letter examples that she gladly shares with you here on Letter Example Help.org

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