How and for what an employee may be punished by his employer?


In a situation when an employee violates obligatory rules in a company, he may be under threat of different kinds of punishments – penalty for breach of order and disciplinary or material penalties. How and for what an employee may be punished by his employer?

The Labor Code enumerates three kinds of punishments: reprimand, warning and pecuniary penalty. The first two may be applied by an employer, for instance, in a situation when set hours of work are not obeyed – explains Agnieszka Banaszkiewicz, legal adviser in Ostrowski i Wspólnicy legal office.


A pecuniary penalty may be imposed in case when an employee does not follow fire regulations or those concerning health and safety at work, or when he comes to work under the influence of alcohol.


In case of unjustified absence, an employer may apply warning, reprimand, pecuniary penalty or disciplinary dismissal according to interpretation and circumstances. The amount of pecuniary penalty depends on remuneration of a certain employee. The sum of penalties cannot be higher than tenth part of a salary – says lawyer.


A disciplinary penalty may be imposed only within 2 weeks from the moment when an employer found out about the fact of violating certain rules by an employee and also 3 months before the date of the incident.


An employer is obliged to listen explanations of an employee before imposing a penalty. If he is not going to change his decision, some information about this penalty will have to be submitted in writing and an employer has a right to appeal and take a case to court. The entry to personnel files concerning the imposed penalty is removed after a year of faultless work.


An employer cannot apply other penalties than those which are included in the Labor Code. If he does it, he will commit an offence. There is a fine which totals from 1000 to 30000 zlotys for it.  

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