The noun sanction is a formal order having the force of the law and also refers to an authoritative approval, confirmation or permission. It can also be a verb meaning a declaration, a formal approval of something, or to enforce a penalty.

Synonyms are allow, permit, punishment, or deterrent.

The word origins from Latin (early 15th century) sanctionem (nominative sanctio) meaning “act of decreeing or ordaining” also “decree, ordinance”. The concept of sanctions goes back to the time of the Greeks, when Athens imposed a trade embargo on their neighbour Megara in 432 B.C. 

Having to work in a company with a legal sanction is good, that means they have established proper rules.

Stop threatening me with a sanction, it will never work.

I have no other choice but to impose a sanction.