How to Administer a Performance Improvement Plan

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  • 1. Mary E. Wright, Editor How to Administer A Performance Improvement Plan Your personal shopper for HR news!
  • 2. • A written plan to improve What is a “performance improvement plan?” performance. PIP – It documents observed performance deficiencies or misconduct of an employee and – Provides guidance as to how the employee is to meet the employer’s expectations of Mary E. Wright, Editor
  • 3. Unequivocal Notice to the What is a “performance improvement plan?” employee of the PIP consequences for failure: – to improve and/or – meet those expectations. A PIP is considered an end stage disciplinary action; i.e., improve or Mary E. Wright, Editor
  • 4. What is the purpose of a • To: “performance improvement plan?” – Provide notice that the PIP employee is not meeting employer expectations; – Articulate steps or give instruction; – Identify consequences for failure to improve; and – Set deadline for Mary E. Wright, Editor
  • 5. No. The PIP need not be Must a written or verbal warning precede the PIP? preceded by a verbal or PIP written warning to the employee unless required by: -- Contract -- Written Policy -- Employer Past Mary E. Wright, Editor
  • 6. Moreover, if the employee Must a written or verbal warning precede the PIP? is “terminable at will,” no PIP verbal or written warning is required, and no PIP need be administered prior to termination. BUT: Juries like fair treatment = notice and an opportunity to Mary E. Wright, Editor
  • 7. A PIP should be: How is a PIP delivered to an employee? • In writing; and • Delivered in: PIP – a face to face; – witnessed; and – private meeting; Mary E. Wright, Editor
  • 8. A PIP must: What should the PIP contain? • Define the problem • Be particular PIP • Identify rule, policy or procedure, standard violated • State whether it is a performance issue or a behavior Mary E. Wright, Editor
  • 9. A PIP must: What should the PIP contain? • Define duties or behaviors PIP to be improved; • More than one issue? Establish priority in improvement; • Set immediate, short term and long range goals where appropriate; • Identify Mary E. Wright, Editor
  • 10. A PIP must: What should the PIP contain? Develop a plan of attack • What steps must be taken? PIP • Who will assist? • How and when is progress to be measured? • How is success or failure to be determined and by whom? Mary E. Wright, Editor
  • 11. There is no specific length How long is the PIP to be in place? defined by law. PIP • Long enough to: – realistically achieve stated goals. – demonstrate employer’s commitment and good faith. • Short enough to: – encourage employee Mary E. Wright, Editor
  • 12. • Who signs? Who signs the PIP? – Supervisor who delivered PIP the PIP; – Witness to acknowledge his or her participation; – Human resources rep who created or reviewed PIP before it was given; Mary E. Wright, Editor
  • 13. • Who signs? Who signs the PIP? – Employee must be asked to PIP sign the document. – Supervisor must explain that execution signifies: • receipt of PIP; • explanation given to employee; • Employee’s opportunity to ask for clarification; and • Employee’s commitment to Mary E. Wright, Editor
  • 14. If the employee refuses to Who signs the PIP? sign the PIP, supervisor PIP should note: – “Employee Declined to Sign” beside the blank signature line. – Write down the employee’s reason if given. Inform employee of Mary E. Wright, Editor
  • 15. • Yes, if it is signed. Does the employee get a copy of the PIP? PIP • No, if it is not signed (unless the employee is covered by a collective bargaining agreement. In that case, employee may show the PIP to the union representative) Mary E. Wright, Editor
  • 16. • Absolutely Should the meeting be documented? • The witness is a note taker. • Record: PIP – Date, time, place, attendees and length of meeting – What was said by anyone in the room as close to verbatim as possible • Document is factual not Mary E. Wright, Editor
  • 17. • The employee’s personnel Where is the PIP stored? file. PIP • Copy attached to the meeting documentation: – Documentation and copy placed in a file separate from personnel file. – Separate file marked: “Prepared in anticipation of litigation.” – Stored by HR or legal Mary E. Wright, Editor
  • 18. Mary E. Wright, Editor Of course, nothing in California is that easy. there are all sorts of factual twists that can change the way this material applies in Your particular situation. Send questions or comments to: Mary Wright, Editor, HR Gazette Your personal shopper for HR news!
  • 19. Mary E. Wright, Editor Ubiquitous Disclaimer HR Gazette does not provide legal advice. The content of this slide deck is for informational purposes only. Before using this information – or any information you get over the Internet – consult your lawyer. Nothing takes the place of advice from a lawyer who knows you and your business, and who understands the laws of the state in which your business is located. Your personal shopper for HR news!