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: 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: Missouri

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

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

  • Other Leaves: Federal

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    This section helps HR professionals identify the common forms of leave addressed by state law and those routinely granted by employers to help attract and retain employees. In addition, HR will gain a greater understanding of the common considerations regarding leaves and paid time off, how to develop leave policies and processes for requesting and taking leave for the various forms of leave (e.g., religious, catastrophic, voting, blood, organ or bone marrow donation, etc.), and the risks inherent in providing forms of leave you are not legally required to provide.

  • 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: Connecticut

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

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

  • 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: Hawaii

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Hawaii 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: Oregon

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

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

  • Employee Discipline: Maryland

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

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

About this topic

HR guidance on managing employee absenteeism.