Disciplining employees is part of running a business efficiently. Similarly, making sure that workers know their good deeds are appreciated is also key to successful company management. Whether you are a business owner, a manager, a supervisor or a human resource (HR) officer, you need to learn how to write up an employee.

Fortunately, there are many employee write up forms that you can easily customize, download, and print. Surely, having readily available employee forms can help you manage improper actions in the workplace better and in a timely manner.

What Is an Employee Write up Form?

An employee write up form is a document that details the incidents and the acts committed by an employee that either violate company policies or exemplify exceptional work. Employee write up forms that pertain to company policy violations are also sometimes called employee discipline form, employee disciplinary action form, employee warning notice, or employee warning notice.

Employment write ups are crucial because they are required by most state laws as part of due process in terminating an employee. No manager, supervisor, or HR officer can terminate an employee from work without informing him of his violation and giving him an opportunity to be heard.

What to Include in an Employee Write up Form?

An employee write up form can either be positive or negative.

A positive employee write up template is one where you inform your employees about their commendable actions and recent accomplishments. It’s a form of recognition. A positive employee write up can include the following:

A positive act or outstanding performance committed by the employee

Detail the good deed performed by the employee and the positive effect of this deed to the company and other employees. Mention if the act was commended by the employee’s supervisor or if it was a client or customer who recognized the employee’s actions.

Compliments that are personal to the employee

Make sure that the employee feels better after reading the employment write up. Compliment them, congratulate them, and assure them that the company appreciates their action.

Rewards, if any

If you intend to reward the employee for a job well-done, you can mention it in the employee write up form.

A negative employee write up, meanwhile, is one that informs the employees of their violation and the disciplinary action to be taken by the managers. A complete write up template includes the following:

Details of the incident

Be as direct and detailed as possible, but make sure also to protect your witnesses’ identity. It’s important to hide personal information about your witnesses to prevent an offended employee from retaliating against his/her co-workers. Dates, places, and circumstances are basic information that you should include.

Specific provisions or rules of the company handbook that were violated

“There is no crime when there is no law that punishes it.” This oft-cited legal maxim also applies in managing employees. You cannot write up an employee for doing something that is not in violation of workplace policies or an abuse of his/her discretion.

If the employee’s actions must be reprimanded, say so in the employee write up form by citing the exact provision or rules in the company handbook or state labor law that the employee violated.

Disciplinary action to be taken by the company

Inform the employee of the disciplinary action that the company will take once it confirms the truthfulness of the incident. Let the erring employee know that the employee write up is a mere written warning, or if the acts committed warrant suspension or termination.

Give the employee an opportunity to be heard.

As much as possible, be fair to the erring employees. Include in the employee write up form if you are granting them an opportunity to explain themselves in writing or at a hearing.

Why And When Should You Use an Employee Write up Form?

Handing out employment write ups is not always fun. Having a well thought out write up template, however, can make this process more manageable for managers and supervisors. Additionally, it helps employees better see and understand their actions, violations, and penalties.

There are many benefits to having an employment write up template.It allows you to retain a record of your employee’s actions and performance. You can always consult this record in the future to make decisions on things like giving out awards and bonuses.

Another important benefit of employment write ups is that they give you protection against legal liability. By writing up the details of the incident and storing a copy in the file, you can protect yourself from former employees who might claim mistreatment or unjust termination.

Consequently, informing your employees of their violation is often a requirement under state and federal employment laws. You might be liable for money claims or damages if you terminate their employment without giving them due notice.

Other upsides of having a write up template include the following:

  • It promotes progressive discipline and helps address unacceptable behaviors.
  • It sets standards for employees, supervisors, and managers.
  • It guides employees on how to act and how to resolve issues.
  • For positive employee write ups, it inspires workers to do their work well.

Tips for Using An Employee Write up Template

Here are some tips to make sure that your employee write up form is proper, complete, and compliant with most employment laws.

  • Be as specific with details as possible.
  • Include witness statements
  • Cite specific provisions of your company handbook
  • Get the employee’s signature
  • Allow the employee an opportunity to be heard.
  • Include actionable plans to help employees improve.
  • Keep a copy of the employee write ups in their personal file.


When drafting an employee write up form or filling out employment write up templates, do your best to be as fair as possible. Not only will your company appreciate you writing up an employee, but even your workers will see that you are committed to running or managing the company smoothly.

Here at CocoSign, we have numerous free employee write up forms that you can download and print anytime. Check out our employee write up forms in PDF today.


CocoSign represents a wide collection of legal templates covering all types of leases, contracts and agreements for personal and commercial use. All legal templates available on CocoSign shall not be considered as attorney-client advice. Meanwhile, CocoSign shall not be responsible for the examination or evaluation of reviews, recommendations, services, etc. posted by parties other than CocoSign itself on its platform.