The question is, should you sign a bad write-up that you receive in the workplace? And the answer is yes. Sign it because you’re not signing that you’re confessing that it’s true. You’re signing that you received it. If you don’t sign it, all that will happen is your employer will write on your write-up, “Employee refused to sign,” and put it in your file. And then you’re missing the opportunity to stand up for yourself, and explain to them, and rebut the writeup and say why you believe it is unfair or false.
Most importantly, if you’re receiving this write-up in some discriminatory way or retaliatory way because you’ve just taken maternity leave, and you’re being held to a different standard now; or, you’ve opposed sexual harassment, or some other reason based on something about you that the law or laws protect against, and those are generally the categories of race, color, religion, age, sex, disability, et cetera; if there’s anything like that going on, sign the write-up. Write that you will send a rebuttal promptly, and then send that rebuttal to the bad write-up to your company in writing, so that you will push back and hold them accountable. You’re asserting a legally protected claim if you’re calling it discriminatory or retaliatory based on a protected status.
This is Jack Tuckner. I’m an employee rights lawyer based in New York. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me by phone or email and we’ll schedule a time to consult free of charge and in total confidence of course.