Reprimand an Employee For a Breach of Policy | Letter-Writing Guide


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."


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

  • After reviewing your last three expense reports, I have found that you have claimed $50 more than the prescribed amount for subsistence.
  • It has recently come to our attention that you have been making an average of three lengthy long-distance calls per week. We have determined that these calls are not to clients.
  • I have received several complaints that you have been parking in other employee parking spots.
  • As a sales representative, you are not authorized to promise any software upgrades until Development has declared in writing that they will include such improvements in the next release. Three of our clients have informed that you have been promising such upgrades.
  • According to security tapes, for the last three Saturdays you have entered the building at approximately 7:30 p.m., and left at 9:00 p.m. What concerns us is that during those times, several classified accounts have been logged onto and altered.
  • It has come to my attention that you have added your son to your part-time payroll in direct violation of our nepotism policy.
  • according to your contract
  • after reviewing your
  • are not authorized to
  • as you are aware
  • breach of company policy
  • consult your Employee Handbook
  • contrary to our policy of
  • contrary to our agreement
  • has been designated as
  • has come to our attention that
  • has now happened several times
  • have received complaints about
  • have firm policy on
  • in direct violation of
  • in contravention of
  • is company policy to
  • is a prescribed amount for
  • made it quite clear that
  • must bring to your attention
  • our liability insurance does not cover
  • spelled out in the
  • must refer such questions

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

  • Please park in your assigned parking spot. If you continue to park in spots other than your own, we will suspend your parking privileges.
  • For the next sixty days you will be required to have the switchboard make any long distance calls for you.
  • I ask that you promptly pay for any personal copies you make so there will be no doubt about whether you are abusing company privileges.
  • Your travel privileges will be suspended for the next two weeks so we will have time to ascertain whether we need to raise the subsistence allowance.
  • Please cooperate in any way you can as we study this situation. A copy of this letter will become part of your permanent file.
  • We ask that from now on your wife call you from the lobby when she comes to pick you up. Our liability insurance will not cover employees' family members in the shop.
  • Please meet with us on Tuesday, May 3, so we can discuss this problem and determine whether we need to take further action. Until that time we ask that you be in the office only during normal work hours.
  • Unless there are extenuating circumstances that override company policy, be aware that such behavior requires immediate dismissal.
  • a written explanation of
  • any further information
  • are sure that we can work this out
  • are sure that this is just a misunderstanding
  • ask for your cooperation
  • can have far-reaching consequences, so please
  • determine whether further action needs to be taken
  • in the future kindly
  • make a satisfactory arrangement
  • make other arrangements
  • must request that you
  • need to discuss this problem
  • please supply us with
  • please make an effort to
  • please meet with us on
  • possible extenuating circumstances
  • request that in the future you
  • risk suspension of
  • this abuse of privilege must stop immediately
  • will require you to
  • will suspend you for
  • would like to sort this out quickly

3. Close with an expression of confidence that the employee will rectify the situation.

  • I trust you will abide by the terms of this suspension. If you have any questions, please call me.
  • We trust that you will cooperate with this investigation.
  • If you have questions, please direct them to Jane Doe.
  • I do hope that this letter will ensure the end of this situation.
  • I will greatly appreciate your immediate attention to this matter.
  • abide by the terms of
  • abide by company policy in this important matter
  • appreciate your cooperation in
  • are sure that we can work this out
  • are sure that this is just a misunderstanding
  • are confident that
  • have no doubt that
  • have every confidence in your
  • if you have any questions
  • is a difficult situation
  • is an uncomfortable situation
  • please direct any questions to
  • please call me if
  • situation will not recur
  • sort this out as quickly as possible
  • that this will be the end of the matter
  • trust that you will
  • will greatly appreciate
  • would like to get this sorted out
  • your immediate attention to

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