Sometimes employees have a legitimate reason for arriving late or calling out at the last minute. But when tardiness or unexcused absences start to pile up, what starts out as a minor annoyance can quickly become a business-crippling issue.
That’s where a well-crafted attendance policy comes in. To prevent excessive absenteeism from affecting your business, you need to send a clear message about what’s acceptable and what’s not – and you need to put it in writing.
Here are some guidelines for creating an effective, legally compliant attendance policy:
Believe it or not, employees often challenge “no-call/no-show” disciplinary actions by claiming they did not know there were procedures for calling in an unplanned absence.
Employees in the same job category who report to the same supervisor generally should be subject to the same attendance rules. In discrimination lawsuits, employers can get in trouble for subjecting “similarly situated” employees (e.g., those with similar job positions, or team members who report to the same supervisor) to different standards.
For example, it may appear discriminatory, whether intended or not, if you write up a female employee for arriving late three times in a month, while allowing a male employee in a similar role to skate by with four late arrivals in the same time period.
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