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Progressive Discipline

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Labor Relations

  • Format: Self-paced
  • Course Duration: 1 hr 42 mins
  • SHRM Professional Development Credits: 1.50
  • HRCI General Recertification Credits: 1.75
  • Certificate of Completion (after passing quiz)

The day has come…union officials are now able to represent your employees. The workforce voted to unionize! Now what? Taking on the task of developing and maintaining a collective bargaining agreement is nothing to fear! This course is for HR professionals who need to understand the basics of a collective bargaining agreement process and its enforcement in the United States. The lessons will provide an introduction to the world of U.S. labor relations including a review of specific terms and labor law. Labor relations is a fun topic but it could be a little scary for those who are new to it. Take this course and put your mind at ease.

HR Jetpack is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. This program is valid for 1.50 PDCs for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit

This activity, has been approved for 1.75 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward aPHR™, PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR®, GPHR®, PHRi™ and SPHRi™ recertification through HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®). For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute website at
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Title: Progressive Discipline
Module: Enforcing an Agreement
Duration: 2:14

Progressive discipline is very important when handling the seven steps of just cause.

Employees should be coached and counseled on what they're doing wrong. They should understand the reasonable rule and just cause.

Progressive discipline could be defined in the collective bargaining agreement or it could be part of what's called the “work rules” under management’s rights, management has the right to actually put together work rules.

It would be discussed with the union. Every policy could have their own progressive discipline process. For example, time and attendance. Progressive discipline could start with coaching, move into a verbal warning, then to a written warning, suspension and finally termination. Or if an employee is found sleeping on the job, it could be an automatic termination.

A form should be used with the person’s name, the years of service, their seniority date, shift, what they’ve be given for progressive discipline and the last discipline was given.

Don’t skip any steps. Unless there is contract language that states for any egregious issue the company has the right to skip the steps.

Remember under management's rights, the company needs to prove Just Cause if they're going to suspend or terminate any employee. The contract may also state that for each step, the company must have Just Cause, which adds more grievance meetings. My recommendation is to try to negotiate to show Just Cause for suspensions and terminations.

Progressive discipline is a very useful tool if you have an employee that really wants to turn their behavior around. They'll view progressive discipline as an opportunity to correct their behavior through the coaching and counseling of the process. But more importantly it's the paper trail that HR, management and the company needs when suspending or terminating an employee. The proper paper trail is necessary during the investigation as well as an arbitration.


Instructor: Matthew Kerzner

As an accomplished professional with over 20 plus years of practice in all facets of organizational operations, Matthew’s expertise includes training and development, labor relations, and organizational development, in addition to the recruitment and selection of competent human capital.

Matthew graduated from Nichols College, with a BA in Industrial Organizational Psychology; and also obtained both an...

Matthew's Full Bio

SHRM Recertification

HR Jetpack® is an official SHRM Education Partner recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP.

HRCI Recertification

HR Jetpack® is recognized by HRCI as an approved provider to offer credit hours towards aPHR™, PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR®, GPHR®, PHRi™ and SPHRi™ recertification.

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