Attendance laws & compensation compliance analysis

Attendance: What you need to know

Regular attendance is an essential job function, and absenteeism costs employers dearly. Most employees must be present at their jobsite on a regularly scheduled basis to do their jobs. However, there are many legitimate reasons why employees cannot be at work every day.
Employers should have a policy that addresses all the issues of attendance, including lateness, sickness, personal business, family and medical leave, and disability concerns. A key part of an attendance policy is setting objective criteria for when excessive absenteeism requires disciplinary intervention and ensuring that the policy is communicated to employees. Solutions for improving attendance include compressed workweeks, flextime, job sharing, rewards, telecommuting, and constructive discipline, up to and including termination.
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All employers must set criteria for what constitutes lateness and what are valid excuses for lateness. Is an employee who arrives two minutes after starting time considered late? Five minutes? Fifteen minutes? Are starting and stopping times unimportant altogether? Does it matter what time employees arrive at work as long as they work the requisite number of hours or complete their work? Chronic lateness can have a negative impact on work flow, employee morale, and the quality of work. At what point is lateness considered chronic? What action, if any, will the organization take in cases of chronic lateness?
The importance of employees reporting to work exactly on time may depend in large part on their job function. For example, it's probably critical for people to be on time if they deal with the public, such as receptionists, sales clerks, bank tellers, ...

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