Corrective Action Steps
As in all corrective action, supervisors/managers must consider all pertinent facts and potential mitigating circumstances before taking action. Some factors to be considered are the employee’s past attendance record, the nature of the position, the impact of tardiness on customers and coworkers, the frequency of tardiness, and any actions previously taken in an attempt to correct the tardiness. Generally, tardiness should be dealt with as follows:
- The first instance of tardiness should normally be dealt with through oral counseling. Infrequent tardiness which does not have an adverse impact on customers or coworkers should also be dealt with through oral counseling. In these cases, the employee may be allowed to make up the time by extending the workday and the timecard need not record the tardy. The supervisor should maintain a note of the oral counseling for reference if the problem recurs.
- If the employee continues to be tardy after oral counseling or if infrequent tardiness has an adverse impact on customer service or coworkers, the next step is counseling confirmed in writing (oral counseling followed by a memo documenting the counseling session. Please see sample Counseling Memo for Tardiness. The tardiness should be charged to accrued leave (vacation, compensatory time, etc.) or leave without pay. The counseling memo should contain a clear warning that any future tardiness will be charged to Absence without Leave and may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. The counseling memo should also reference the availability of the Employee Assistance Program (see Section 10). Contact Employee & Labor Relations for assistance in drafting this memo.
- If the employee continues a pattern of tardiness after issuance of the warning memo, the next instance of tardiness should be charged to Absence without Leave (Code 060) and the employee should be issued a formal Letter of Reprimand and placed on Leave Restriction. Please see sample Leave Restriction Letter and Letter of Reprimand. Contact Employee & Labor Relations for assistance in drafting the Letter of Reprimand and Leave Restriction Letter.
- If the employee continues to be tardy, he/she should be issued a letter equating to a 2-5 day suspension (depending on the frequency and duration of tardiness). Such letters involve the Skelly process, and you should contact Employee & Labor Relations before taking this step. Please see Sample Skelly Intent Letter for Attendance.
If the non-punitive suspension does not stop the tardiness, the employee will normally be dismissed.
If the employee has already been made aware of your expectations, leave problems are addressed like any other employee issue. If absenteeism is affecting the employee’s ability to get the work done, it is a performance problem. In this case, remind the employee of the specific performance expectations not being met and place him/her on a corrective action plan. If it is solely a conduct problem (e.g., the employee still gets his/her work done, but the absences cause coverage issues), treat it like any other conduct problem. First, counsel the employee and clarify expectations. If improvement does not occur, progressive discipline usually involves a letter that takes the form of a Leave Restriction Letter, and places certain restrictions and requirements on the employee’s leave usage.
Please see Sample Leave Restriction Letter, Sample Letter of Reprimand, Sample Intent Letter – Excessive Absenteeism, and Sample Decision Letter – AWOl.