Progressive discipline

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Progressive discipline is a system of discipline where the penalties increase upon repeat occurrences.

This term is often used in an employment or human resources context where rather than terminating employees for first or minor infractions, there is a system of escalating responses intended to correct the negative behavior rather than to punish the employee.

The typical stages of progressive discipline in a workplace are:

  1. Counselling or a verbal warning;
  2. A written warning;
  3. Suspension or demotion; and
  4. Termination.

The stage chosen for a particular infraction will depend on a variety of factors that include the severity of the infraction, the previous work history of the employee and how the choice will affect others in the organization.

Also inherent in progressive discipline is regression to previous stages once enough time passes.

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