A manager recently called asking for advice regarding adherence to the company attendance policy. An employee was starting to have erratic absences…a Monday here, a Friday there. The employee appeared to be selectively “working” the system and acting within the guidelines of the company policy. The manager asked for advice on confronting the employee?

HR Guru Solution

The first question I always ask regarding attendance is “what is the company policy”? If the company doesn’t have a formal policy then you have to create, communicate and monitor. If the company has a policy, is it consistently being enforced? If the answer is yes, then all is good! If the answer is no, then there is follow up that needs to be completed regarding prior infractions. If the employee is working the system, they may be taking absences to the edge of discharge and then not missing work until there is another “allowed” absence. In this instance, you must tell the employee that you have noticed this pattern of behavior and that continued occurrences will result in further disciplinary action as “playing” the system is not the work environment the company is trying to create. Document the discussion for the employee file in the event this pattern of behavior continues in the future.

If the employee states that the absences are related to a medical condition or a family issue that could be covered under FMLA, immediately contact human resources to gain support regarding further conversations.