HR Support on Absenteeism at Work

Editor's Note: Enforce attendance policies while complying with federal and state leave laws.

Marta MoakleyOverview: Employers have a vested interest in enforcing workplace attendance policies and addressing employee absences. When faced with an employee attendance issue, many employers choose to progressively discipline an employee for misconduct. However, in certain instances, employee discipline may pose greater liability for employers.

Specifically, employers with no-fault attendance policies may unwittingly discriminate against employees with legally-protected characteristics, such as employees with disabilities. In addition, enforcing attendance policies for conduct that may be protected under state leave laws may expose employers to regulatory fines and penalties. Employee leave entitlements vary by state, and may be more generous for public employees.

Notwithstanding particular leave entitlements, an employer may still enforce work rules when an employee abuses his or her leave. Proper recordkeeping practices can place employers in a better position when targeted in regulatory audits or when defending court claims with respect to employee leave protections.

Trends: Enforcement agencies have focused on various initiatives targeting employees with disabilities, employees with caregiving responsibilities and employees in the uniformed services and/or veterans. Employers should stay abreast of federal, state and local legal developments related to employee leave protections.

Author: Marta Moakley, JD, Legal Editor

Latest items in Absenteeism

  • Employee Discipline: New Jersey

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of New Jersey employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to Employee Discipline

  • Employee Discipline: California

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of California employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employee discipline.

  • Employee Discipline: Massachusetts

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Massachusetts employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employee discipline.

  • Employee Discipline: Kentucky

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Kentucky employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employee discipline.

  • Employee Discipline: Oklahoma

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Oklahoma employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employee discipline.

  • Attendance and Punctuality Handbook Statement

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Employers seeking to convey to employees expectations about regular attendance and punctuality at work should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook

  • Employee Discipline: Illinois

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Illinois employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employee discipline.

  • Massachusetts Passes Domestic Violence Leave Law: Employment Law Manual Updated

    Date:
    22 August 2014
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    A new Massachusetts leave law requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide as many as 15 days off in a 12-month period for reasons related to domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and kidnapping.

  • Employee Discipline: Rhode Island

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Rhode Island employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employee discipline.

  • Employee Discipline: Louisiana

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Louisiana employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to Employee Discipline

About this topic

HR guidance on managing employee absenteeism.