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

  • Other Leaves

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    Employers often provide leave benefits that are required by state law or that help the employer attract and retain employees. This section assists HR professionals in managing leave policies related to religion; catastrophic illness; pandemics; holidays; bereavement; voting/elections; jury duty; school visitation; community service; blood, organ or bone marrow donation; and breastfeeding.

  • 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

  • Tacoma, Washington, Passes Paid Sick Leave Law: Employment Law Manual, Chart Updated

    Date:
    02 March 2015
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    A paid sick leave ordinance for Tacoma, Washington, which covers all private employers, takes effect January 1, 2016.

  • 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.

  • Philadelphia Passes Paid Sick Leave Law: Employment Law Manual, Chart Updated

    Date:
    25 February 2015
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    Philadelphia's new ordinance, taking effect May 13, 2015, will require certain employers to provide paid sick leave.

  • Employee Discipline: Michigan

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

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

  • Employee Discipline: Washington

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

About this topic

HR guidance on managing employee absenteeism.