[Ask HR] Can my manager alter a written warning after I signed the document without my consent?

We take questions from both employers and employees. If you have a question, let us know below. In the meantime, take a look at this week’s question:

Can my manager alter a written warning after I signed the document without my consent?

My warning has two boxes on it. 1 states I agree to the term the 2nd box says I do not agree with the terms. I left both blank of purpose and signed. My boss checked agree with the terms without my permission and submitted to HR.

No one should alter any document after a signature has been obtained. I would like to think your Manager might have assumed your agreement as opposed to any attempt to falsify documents. It is a good practice to always take a copy of anything you have signed, as well as to complete any forms fully to avoid leaving anything to someone else’s interpretation and assumptions.

In this instance, it would have been appropriate for the Manager to ask you to complete the form more fully, and if you continued to choose not to check off one of the boxes, to indicate that on the form.

As you can imagine, when employers issue a written warning it is to draw your attention to the fact that there is a direct concern with your performance in the role that you are doing. I do want to stress that performance is all encompassing – it can be your attitude, not meeting objectives, attendance etc.

You have the right to disagree with the written warning and would suggest, in the future, rather than leaving the form blank, indicate that you do not agree with the terms. But keep in mind that your employer maintains the right to set job expectations and performance manage on these expectations. Disagreeing with the warning does not mean that you can “opt out” of the performance improvement steps that the company indicates are required.

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