Reprimand an Employee For a Breach of Policy • Letter Templates and Guides

How to write this letter:

1Tell the employee what policy he or she has violated. Include any necessary facts as evidence.
2Inform the employee of any action to be taken, or what he or she can do to rectify the situation.
3Close with an expression of confidence that the employee will rectify the situation.


Be brief and to the point. Do not make generalizations about the employee or his or her character, and avoid insulting language. The implied seriousness of the violation will generally be sufficient to get the employee's attention. Also see "Document employee reprimands."

Example Letter #1


Our employee manual clearly states that salaries are private matters between department heads and the employees. It is a gross violation of company policy for any employee to attempt by any means to determine what another employee earns.

Yesterday afternoon, John Doe caught you looking through the company payroll. Doe Corporation will not tolerate such behavior. If you do it again, or if we have evidence that you have divulged any information that you may have seen, we will terminate your employment.

I am sure you understand the gravity of this violation and I trust you will steer clear of the payroll office from now on.

Example Letter #2


As you are aware, Doe & Associates is unwilling to reimburse associates for personal dining expenses. You have claimed $58.11 as a business dining cost for February 3, 2018, yet there was no authorized dining that day.

Please consider this a warning. The firm will not reimburse you for this cost nor will it reimburse you for any such future unauthorized dining expenses. Please discontinue your practice of claiming personal dining expenses as business costs.

Example Letter #3


Your unauthorized and undocumented use of company truck #6 is a direct breach of company motor pool policy. I ask that you make no further unauthorized use of motor pool vehicles. Another such breach of company policy may result in your dismissal. You will be given and asked to sign an official letter of reprimand, which will be placed in your personnel file for at least one year. If no further infractions of the company policy are committed, this letter will be removed from your file after one year. I trust that this will be the end of this matter.

Example Letter #4


This letter serves as notice to all employees concerning the seriousness of disregarding the company smoking policy. We have made clear in the past that employees are not to smoke in company vehicles or at job sites. However, it has come to our attention that many employees are not abiding by these rules. All employees are hereby notified that failure to abide by this policy will result in termination of employment. We hope that this clears up any misunderstandings there may have been, and that this will not be a problem in the future.

Example Letter #5


I must inform you that I have received complaints about you from some of the female employees in your office regarding what they have perceived to be sexist remarks and jokes that belittle women. I believe that this is simply a matter of poor judgment on your part; nevertheless, I am sure you understand the seriousness of these complaints.

I would like to meet with you to discuss this matter, so that you may better understand the type of language and humor that others may find offensive. Although I am sure that you did not intend to offend, similar complaints in the future could jeopardize your employment with the Doe Corporation. Please come to my office tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. so that we may discuss this matter further.

Write Your Letter Step-by-Step


Tell the employee what policy he or she has violated. Include any necessary facts as evidence.

Example Sentences for Step 1

Example Phrases for Step 1


Inform the employee of any action to be taken, or what he or she can do to rectify the situation.

Example Sentences for Step 2

Example Phrases for Step 2