Progressive Discipline

(Added to the Glossary, December 2016)

As a rule, except for offenses that are egregious, discipline will be assessed in some system of increasing severity for repeat offenses.  For example, the penalty for tardiness may initially be one day off without pay, and progress eventually to discharge.  However, some employee offenses, such as violence in the workplace or theft, will be seen to merit immediate discharge, even with an employer who adheres in all other situations to a system of progressive discipline.  The goal of progressive discipline is that it be punitive, but also remedial, in that it should ideally act as a caution to workers regarding repeating the offense and encourage them to modify their behavior. When presented with a discipline case, arbitrators will normally assess whether the system of discipline is progressive and whether the actual discipline imposed is reasonable under the circumstances.