Letter of Warning

A letter of warning is a document that is usually sent from an employer to an employee, stating their discontent with a reprehensible action with potential for reprimand. By writing this letter, the employer has a written record that the employee is aware of the current situation, and that they are aware of the penalties that are laid out in the letter.


Starting to Write


Be polite and non-threatening. This is a professional environment and the warning and/or punishment should speak for itself. Aggressive language may only exacerbate the situation and even give them legal course for unfair treatment.


Keep the letter straightforward and brief, only listing the explicit reasons for the warning and the repercussions.


If specific rules have been broken restate what those rules are and why they’re in place.


Encourage the employee to reform their behavior so you can both move beyond the incident to have a successful relationship.

Sample Letters

Letter of Warning Sample

Lori J. Thomas

1213 Joy Lane
Anaheim, CA 92801


Dear Mr. Thomas,

This letter is a written record of the meeting we engaged in on January 4th, 2009, after your issue with human resources. We identified the following breaches of employee conduct in the action you took:

Section 3. a)

Section 5 c)

Section 8 f)


I would like to put you on notice that your action are being watched, and that any further violations of the companies employee policy may result in your termination. Please be extra careful in the way you conduct yourself from now on.


Santoro Sanitation

Letter of Warning Employee Sample

Dear Mr. Diaz,

I hereby issue you a written warning for your unacceptable behavior while working with Ely Manufacturing. Immediate reform is required.


As you have previously been made aware by your manager, we have evidence that you have been regularly excusing yourself for toilet breaks in order to smoke cigarettes on site. As per the employee rule book (page 3) and the multiple signs around the building, Ely is a non-smoking workplace.


Employees are only permitted to smoke during the lunch hour and any other official breaks, but are required to do so outside and in the designated “smokers quarters”  at the rear of the parking lot.


After careful consideration I believe that this is a temporarily lapse in judgment, and otherwise you have been a productive employee. I am willing to move beyond this incident so long as you refrain from this behavior immediately.


Please be warned that you will be closely monitored for the foreseeable future and any further behavioral issues  may result in job termination.


Yours Sincerely,

Bruno Finkel

Area Manager

Letter of Warning for Insubordination Sample

Dear Mary Barrett,

You are hereby officially warned for insubordination as outlined in our disciplinary meeting on August 01, 2013.


During this meeting you admitted to flagrantly ignoring guidance and orders from your line manager, including refusing to wear a hair tie and failing to swap positions on the line with another employee. We are aware that you also used abusive language during these incidents.


Though I can understand that the hair tie may take some getting used to, it is a fundamental aspect of our hygiene standards. In some instances failing to wear one may result in a whole batch of product having to be thrown out, which would cost us substantial revenue.


You are also reminded that your line manager is your superior and you must follow their guidance at all times, unless you have grounds to argue that it is unreasonable, which is certainly not the case here.


Any further insubordination may result in suspension or full job termination, so please take the time to re-read our company code (enclosed) and correct your behavior at once.


I look forward to moving beyond this incident.



Bucky McClelland

Employee Disciplinary

Happy Pies

Letter of Warning USPS Sample

Dear Howard McKinney,

Your are receiving this official letter of warning from the USPS for the following reason(s):




On July 03, 2013, you did not update the electronic tracking system for tracked parcels out for delivery. This is extremely important as it gives recipients who have paid senders for tracking information, real time updates as to where their item is currently located within the delivery chain.


We also use this data internally to deal with lost or damaged goods disputes.


Fortunately according to our database nobody has yet to complain about  not receiving their mail for this date,  but the process is important nonetheless.


As a USPS employee you will have been trained in using the handheld scanner efficiently, so there is no excuse for why you failed to do so on this day.


No further action is being taken at this time but please be warned, failure to follow instructions in the future may result in disciplinary action. If you feel in the information outlined in this warning is incorrect you have 10 working days to file a grievance.



Kevin Barker


Letter of Warning for Absenteeism Sample

Dear Mrs. Small,

This official letter of warning has been issued due to a worrying trend of absenteeism, and multiple failings to inform your supervisor that you would not be attending work.


On January 05, 2011, you were not present during the work day, and did not inform anyone in your department in advance or on the morning of the absence. While you did submit a sick note the following morning, this is not acceptable under our attendance policy.


This states that all planned absences must be approved at least 3 days prior, or in unforeseen circumstances we must be informed on the morning of the absence, via a quick telephone call or email.


The following week on the 12th you did follow procedure and inform us of an unforeseen absence,  which lasted until the 15th. However on the 22nd you took 2 days leave without prior notice.


We are not only concerned by your failure to efficiently inform us of absences, but also the amount of time you’ve taken off in recent weeks.


Going forward we expect you to improve your attendance and show commitment to your department. If you should take any further legitimate time off this year  it is imperative that you follow the aforementioned procedures. Failure to do so will almost certainly result in disciplinary action.



Harold Bateman

Managing Supervisor

Smith’s Telecom

Letter of Warning for Poor Performance Sample

Dear Austin Plank,

In recent months it has been observed that your performance at Jones Investing has slipped considerably below your usual standard and that of your peers. I hereby issue a written warning encouraging you to correct this matter immediately.


I draw your attention to two incidents in particular that I feel represent negligence on your behalf. On the morning of April 05, 2013, you sold shares worth $30,000 in KP Pharmaceuticals. KP has been performing consistently for the past 3 years, and since your sale share prices have even risen by 8 percent. Based on the data, there is no justifiable reason for the trade, and somebody of your level certainly shouldn’t be gambling with Jones’ funds based on rumors or hunches.


Secondly on May 20, 2013, you bought $50,000 worth of shares in fledgling Airline company Simple Flights, only for them to go out of business in June. Even the average person watching the nightly news knew that Simple were on the way out, yet you lost us half a substantial sum in the process.


Over the years you have been one of our most successful traders, let’s see some of that magic return!


If you make any more of these disastrous decisions we’ll have no choice but to reconsider your role here at Jones Investing.



Mr. Paulson

Director of Day Trading

Letter of Warning USCG Sample

Paul Cooke,

On September 05, 2013, you not only violated the rules outlined in the US Coast Guard’s User’s Guide, but were close to breaching international agreements by verging on the Mexican border. This written notice has been issued to warn you that any similar action in the future will lead to your immediate termination from the USCG.


While we of course appreciate that the recent increase in illegal poaching near the border areas require you to patrol beyond your usual remit, there is no excuse for sailing as far as you did, and without radioing in to your superiors we take this as a flagrant breach of the rules.


We have advised the Texas Coast Guard Authority to re-assign you further inland, though the decision is ultimately there’s.



US Department of Homeland Security