A show cause letter is issued to an employee to explain his/her behavior or actions. The employer has the authority to issue a show cause letter/notice to an employee for a variety of reasons including insubordination, negligence of duty, misconduct and poor performance.
Employees are served a show cause letter after being verbally reprimanded and served multiple written warnings. Employees who show no improvement are thus asked for a strict explanation after which the employer may decide to take disciplinary action against an employee.
One of the most common reasons for an employee to be served with a show cause letter is negligence of duty. Negligence of duty can be defined in several ways:
- Not paying attention to details
- Lack of a responsible attitude towards work
- Ignoring special instructions
- Failure to perform a task
- Forgetting work deadlines or tasks assigned
Basically, negligence of duty includes any shortfall by the employee in performing their job. However not all negligence lead to show cause notices. Rather a show cause notice is issued when an employee has been persistently negligent or his negligence caused a serious problem or damage to the business.
To [employee name]
Subject: Notice of the negligence of duty
This is with reference to your frequent disappearances just before important meetings. Yesterday’s meeting was the fourth client meeting that you deliberately missed despite being reminded an hour before the meeting was due. Earlier you were present at work but became absent just before the scheduled client meetings on [date 1], [date 2] and [date 3]. Consistently failing to meet with clients constitutes as negligence of duty, particularly when you are part of the team working with a client. Our clients also expect to see you at the meeting. While you have later given explanations, we suspect there is a pattern of dishonesty in your behavior.
You are hereby requested to provide a written explanation for your negligence in showing up at scheduled meetings. Your explanation will be considered in the decision to initiate disciplinary action against you.