How to Have a Strong, yet Flexible Workplace Attendance Policy
Making sure that all employees consistently and regularly report to work is necessary to run your business efficiently. However, ensuring employee attendance can be challenging.
You can have attendance policies clearly outlined in your employee handbook and manual. However, the problem is that while you can be stringent in other matters, like those related to leave times and vacation time, you can’t be as stringent with employee attendance. There were several reasons why an employee may be unable to report to work on a particular day. There may be personal matters, childcare issues and other reasons, and the employer may need to be a little sensitive to the employee’s needs. However, you also do not want to have a situation where one employee is regularly absenting himself from the workplace, while the other employee harbors feelings of resentment towards this.
Have an attendance policy in place that allows employers to discipline employees, who are regularly late or absent from work. If the frequent absences are causing a problem not just for your business productivity, and are disruptive to the workplace environment, make sure that the employee is informed of this. At the same time, make sure that the policy is flexible enough to allow employees to absent themselves for a valid reason. That includes personal reasons.
The policy should also allow for rewarding of those employees who are the most regular to the workplace. Commemorate the employee with a gift at the annual office event or party.
Make sure that the policy also considers the fact that some employees like those who are disabled or covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act, may frequently have to absent themselves from the workplace because of their condition. If the person’s condition frequently interferes with his or her ability to attend work every day, then you may have to be flexible, and make some accommodations for this. Talk to an Orange County employment lawyer about how you can comply with the ADA.
However, in those cases, where the employee is performing essential functions that simply must be performed every day, and the employee’s lack of attendance is causing problems for you, this may not be considered a reasonable accommodation for you to make. To be on the safe side, speak with an Orange County employment lawyer to stay compliant with all your obligations as an employer.