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How to deal with an unruly employee

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2024 | Employment Litigation

Running a company involves constantly monitoring several moving parts. You’ll have to deal with clients, colleagues and employees on a daily basis.

While you carefully vet every prospective employee and have recruited a talented team, it’s almost inevitable that disputes will arise at some point. How you address such disputes is pivotal to the continued success of your business.

What if an employee suddenly becomes unruly? How can you deal with this lawfully?

Identify the root cause

It’s rare that an employee suddenly becomes difficult for no reason. Perhaps there’s something going on in the workplace that you’re unaware of. Maybe they are having a difficult time in their personal life.

While all employee relationships should be professional, you do owe workers a duty of care. For example, if they are being harassed by another worker, you should take steps to prevent this from happening. If they have issues at home, you might be able to help out, such as offering some time off to improve the scenario.

In any case, it’s best to get to the source of the problem before taking your next steps.

Clarify rules and expectations

If the unruly behavior is not based on anything you can control, then it’s important to remind the employee of the company’s rules and expectations. This is where an employee handbook can be useful. This is a written document that can outline all of the rules and expectations of the company.

If they are fully aware of these, then there is no excuse for not following them.

Monitor the situation closely

Ideally, a more in-depth investigation should help to resolve the situation. However, it’s possible that you may need to take disciplinary measures. By monitoring the situation closely, you can check for improvements or regressions.

Disciplining an employee is possible and necessary sometimes, but it’s important that you do this within the confines of the law. Seek out as much legal information as possible before making your next move.