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And Another Thing...
We recently had a client ask the question about how to document and handle instances of employee absences. In this time of varying work volume and increased employer responsibility in complying with employment law statutes the following is offered for your consideration.  As there are multiple “ripple effects” to employee absence events, such as unemployment compensation claim, potential Family Medical Leave Act or ADA compliance issues, good documentation becomes extremely important.  It is recommended that each occurrence that deviates from the pre-assigned work schedule be documented.

Here are some suggested procedures for you to follow:
  1. If the employer Initiates the occurrences:
    1. Each occurrence that deviates from the pre-assigned work schedule should be documented. Documentation should include date/time and reason 

      Example1: Employer call off that is voluntary (we are slow you can go home if you want to or stay and do this or that)

      Documentation should read: Decreased volume of work – employee volunteered to go home

      Example 2: Employer call off that is mandated ( we have no work – go home)

      Documentation should read: Lack of work – employee sent home

  2. Employee initiated occurrences:
    1. Each occurrence that deviates from the pre-assigned work schedule should be documented. documentation should include date/time and reason 
    2. When an employee calls off or requests off, it is sufficient to categorize reason without requiring personal details.

      Categories would include
      1. personal illness (if detail is offered ok to document -but you need not demand details)
      2. caregiver absence for immediate family – note family member in documentation (child/parent/spouse)
      3. other – emergency house issue; alarm didn’t go off, the dog ate my car keys; caregiver absence outside immediate family; car accident; flat tire….)
      4. paid time off (pre-scheduled – vaca/wellness/personal)

To alert the staff of this important communication requirement you may want to add the following statement to your attendance policy in the employee manual
“When arranging for time off or calling out, you will be asked to identify the category reason you will not be able to report as scheduled. (personal illness; caregiver absence for immediate family; other; paid time off)”

Having this level of detail will allow you to assess attendance issues, comply with statutory requirements (ADA/FMLA) and proactively manage employees.  Remember Document, document, document!  Have additional questions or specific issues you’d like to discuss?  Give RC Kelly Law a call.



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