Does allowing a behavior to go on without saying anything about it give tacit approval of said behavior?

A coworker has been late a lot but for
the first 13-14 years nothing was ever
officially said or done about it.

Last year the write ups started to
happen, to the point of being
threatened with his/her job.

Does the fact that there is no
documentation for well over a decade
‘give’ tacit approval of said tardiness?

The coworker has never denied this
issue and is taking steps to rectify it but
should he/she have been basically told
they could be out of a job?

Asked on July 6, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, allowing some breach or improper behavior does not necessarily approve it in/for the future. You do need to first provide notice that the behavior will no longer be tolerated--e.g. providing written notice and write-ups. But if notice and a chance to correct the behavior is provided but the employee does not take that opportunity and remedy the situation, he or she can be terminated for it...the fact that he/she got away with it for years does not mean that you cannot now hold him/her accountable for it.

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