Published on November 21st, 2013 by Alan L Sklover
What is the meaning of:
“Letter of Education”?
“Letter of Education” generally means “You did something wrong, perhaps without knowing it; just don’t let it happen again.” It means that you broke a rule, generally not a rule serious enough to get you fired, but serious enough to give you a written warning. And – and here’s the “kicker” – to be placed into your Human Resources file.
It is like a “slap on the wrist” that leaves a “permanent scar.” It is like a speeding ticket that might one day increase your auto insurance premiums, or even cancel your auto insurance coverage.
Because it is in your Human Resources file, a Letter of Education can be used to damage your interests, because it can be taken into account in future decisions regarding (a) compensation, (b) promotion, (c) retention or layoff, and (d) termination for repeated violations. Also, if in a future interview “Have you ever received a sanction, penalty or letter of education?” you will have to explain this one .
For those who are registered securities representatives, a Letter of Education might be reported to regulatory authorities during your employment, or upon your departure in what is called a Form U-5. These are particularly sensitive and potentially troublesome.
Depending on the nature and severity of the “offense,” receiving a Letter of Education may be a very mild response or a severe response, to what it is you are alleged to have done. Regardless, because they may well have an effect on your future, they need to be taken seriously.
What is the right response to receiving a Letter of Education? That depends on many factors. In general, though, in light of the fact that a Letter of Education represents a negative “paper trail,” if and when appropriate, they ought to be either vigorously opposed, (ii) further explained or (iii) respectfully accepted with an explanation.
Don’t get crazy over receiving a Letter of Education, but don’t be complacent, either.
© 2013 Alan L. Sklover. All Rights Reserved. Commercial Use Strictly Prohibited