Overview: Employers should institute policies and practices to monitor employee attendance and keep track of employee work time.
An effective attendance policy should track employee absences as well as explain employee discipline procedures for excessive absenteeism or tardiness.
However, employers should be careful not to violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), or any other federal, state or local law that provides individuals with protection for related absences Employers should make sure that the attendance policy is adequately communicated to all employees and that they understand their obligations to the employer.
Employers should also implement strategies for dealing with habitually absent or habitually late employees.
Trends: Employers should avoid no-fault employee attendance policies which charge an absence against an employee regardless of the reason for the absence as such policies fail to recognize absences under the ADA, FMLA or related federal, state or local laws.
Further, employers should avoid language in any attendance policies that mandate termination of an employee if the employee does not return to work within a specific period of time.
The EEOC has shown that it is willing to pursue employers for no-fault and inflexible attendance and leave policies that violate the ADA and FMLA by penalizing employees for covered absences.
Author: Beth P. Zoller, JD, Legal Editor
Updated to reflect forthcoming Tacoma Paid Leave Ordinance amendments and final rules.
Updated to include amended rules on payment of St. Paul earned sick and safe time to employees with fluctuating wages, effective November 30, 2017.
Updated to include forthcoming safe time amendments to the New York City Earned Sick Time Act.
Updated to reflect state paid sick leave final rules, effective October 3, 2017.
Updated to include the forthcoming New Parent Leave Act.
Updated to include the forthcoming state paid sick leave law.
Updated to reflect amendments to Chicago's paid sick leave final rules, effective September 11, 2017.
Updated to include the Nevada Pregnant Workers' Fairness Act, effective October 1, 2017.
Updated to include a law regarding leave to care for foster children, effective September 1, 2017.
HR guidance regarding creating and implementing effective policies to manage employee attendance.