Effective Strategies To Document Employee Discipline

Webinar: ID# 1021650
Recorded CD
About This Course:
Average jury verdicts in wrongful termination cases can exceed a million dollars in some states. The vast majority of these verdicts might have been prevented had proper documentation been in place at the time of termination.

Review the legal significance that documentation plays in the discipline and termination process. Review legally required documentation to support employee terminations and discipline, and discuss best practices for new hire paperwork, employee handbooks, and effective performance evaluation systems.

Additionally, we will review the types of documentation that juries have historically liked and disliked, and cover best practices for preparation of significant documentation related to the termination process, including termination letters, severance agreements and letters of reference.

Gain a solid grasp of the legal pitfalls of poorly prepared documentation, and an understanding of how to prepare documentation to support employee discipline and terminations.


Preparing Legally Supportable Documentation
  • Legal Significance of Documentation
  • Best Practices for Preparation and Use of Documentation
Laying the Documentation Ground Work
  • New Hire Paperwork
  • Employee Handbooks
  • Nondisclosure/Solicitation Agreements
  • Arbitration Agreements
Performance Evaluation Systems That Work
  • Subjective Criteria
  • Objective Criteria
What Will a Jury Think?
  • Documentation Juries Want to See
  • Documentation Juries Dislike
Terminations and Discipline
  • Avoiding Inconsistent Documentation
  • Written Warnings and Progressive Discipline
  • Termination Letters
  • Severance Agreements
  • Letters of Reference
  • Final Paychecks
About The Presenter

Douglas J. Farmer, Esq.
  • Shareholder of the San Francisco office of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., a national law firm specializing in employment law with offices in more than 40 cities
  • Specialties in providing strategic advice to management on employment law matters
  • Tried to verdict wage and hour, sexual harassment, age discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, and other wrongful termination claims in state and federal courts
  • Former trial attorney for the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, San Francisco district office
  • Wrote,California Employment Law: The Complete Survival Guide to Doing Business in California(available at
  • Recognized as one of California’s leading employment lawyers in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers; and as a Super Lawyer by Northern California Super Lawyer Magazine
  • J.D. and B.A. degrees, Harvard University
Effective Strategies To Document Employee Discipline
Available on CD format
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