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Discipline — Arizona

Employee discipline is, of course, less severe than termination and more severe than employee counseling or job performance evaluations. Many of the principles and advice explained in this chapter and many of the concepts applicable to employee terminations, which are explained in Termination, are also relevant to employee discipline.

Employers typically consider discipline as an alternative to termination when an employee commits an act of misconduct or when an employee’s job performance has fallen to a level for which merely giving the employee an unfavorable job performance review does not meet the employer’s interest in correcting the poor performance.

Discipline, including demotions, are often a preferable alternative to termination of employment without a history of disciplinary and corrective measures. Juries will give an employer a much wider latitude and view an employer more favorably when the employer has addressed a performance issue through discipline, reassignment or demotion, rather than termination. At times, discipline or demotion can, at times, avoid wrongful termination claims, as the employer has not terminated the employee. Instead, if the employee refuses to work in the position to which the employer has transferred or demoted the employee, then the employee has abandoned his or her job and the separation...

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