It is a common misconception that Non-Unionized employers (such as Dental Practice Owners) cannot issue disciplinary suspensions. Non-unionized employees are still entitled to due process and can be disciplined in the same way as unionized workers, but only if it follows the Non-Union Policy Guidelines. Non-Union Policy Guidelines is a fancier way of saying “your employee handbook and office policies”.
In this blog post, we will discuss how Non-Union companies, such as dental offices, can discipline their employees for poor performance or misconduct within the guidelines of their company policies. Non-Union employers can discipline their Non-Union staff in the same way as unionized employees. The due process dictates that Non-Union companies must provide an employee with notice of their violation of company policy, and also provide them with an opportunity to respond to the statements of violation before corrective action is initiated. This is why Non-Union companies usually have an employee handbook and other office specific policies which provide this avenue for accountability based on specific offenses rather than just terminating employees that aren’t performing well.
Organizations that are not unionized are allowed to implement suspensions without pay if it is outlined within the employee handbook, however, the suspensions should be short in duration. Suspensions that are not outlined in an employee handbook, and that are for longer durations should be reviewed by an employment lawyer before the corrective action is processed. It should also be noted that there must be proof that Non-Union employees received training regarding suspensions as a part of the corrective action process in order for the suspension to be applicable and in alignment with employment standards requirements. Suspensions can also serve as a last resort for dealing with an employee who has been warned about poor performance but continues their non-ideal behavior. An example of this could be where non-performing Non Union employees continue arriving for work late and fail to improve on their punctuality after completing other steps in a corrective action program.
The only time that companies do not have to provide Non-Union employees with a warning or offer them an opportunity to respond before suspending them is if they are deemed an "at-will" employee, which means they work at the pleasure of management and can be terminated or suspended without notice - This is specific to Dental Practices operating in the United States of America within an At-Will State. If this is the case, then Non-Unions would follow disciplinary procedures outlined within company policy guidelines but there may not need to be written warnings given out first before suspensions occur. The “warning” process can be difficult to define as it is at the Non-Union employer’s discretion whether they decide their non-unionized employees are entitled to warnings.
Employers have greater flexibility when issuing suspensions, meaning that Non-Union companies can suspend employees for violations of company policy without being required to pay them while suspended if the violation would justify termination in a unionized environment.
Non-Union employers can discipline their employees for poor performance or misconduct within the guidelines of their company policies as long as these policies do not defy employment standards legislation. They are allowed to implement suspensions without pay if it is outlined in the employee handbook and other related documents, employees have been trained on these protocols, and the suspension does not become excessive. This blog post should help you understand what your options are when disciplining your staff as a non-unionized employer, and how your employees may compare to unionized employees in your region. If you have any questions about this topic, feel free to reach to us at firstname.lastname@example.org