Attendance laws & HR compliance analysis

Attendance: What you need to know

Regular attendance is an essential job function. After all, most employees must be present at their regular jobsite on a regularly scheduled, predictable basis in order to effectively do their jobs.
Of course, there are certainly many legitimate reasons why employees cannot, and even should not, be at work every day. Left unchecked, however, absenteeism can cost employers dearly, while also creating morale issues with other workers.
To help balance and identify legitimate absences vs. absenteeism, employers should have a policy that addresses all the various issues surrounding employee attendance, including lateness, sickness, available time to take care of personal business, family and medical leave, and disability concerns.
A key part of an effective attendance policy is setting objective criteria for when absenteeism becomes excessive, requiring disciplinary intervention. It is also critical to ensure the attendance policy is clearly and effectively 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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Employers must set criteria for what constitutes lateness and which, if any, reasons 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 ...

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