Absenteeism and Tardiness Are Not Always Considered Misconduct in UI Situations
We recently issued the following TIP
to our clients which I thought I’d share. It highlights how important it
is to understand the definition of misconduct and what facts and documentation are
required to prove misconduct in your state.
Absenteeism and Tardiness
Are Not Always Misconduct
an employer discharges an employee for excessive absenteeism and/or tardiness the
employee is not automatically disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits. The
employer must prove the employee’s absences and/or tardiness were misconduct and this
can be very difficult to do.
of procedures or failure to call in may constitute misconduct regardless of the reason
for absence or lateness. For example, while an employee may allege illness, this will
not usually excuse a no call, no show. However
the employee’s failure to follow an employer’s policies will do no good in a protest
unless the conduct and the efforts to reach the employee are documented.
To establish misconduct when an employee
is discharged for absenteeism or tardiness, there are certain basic guidelines that
should be followed.
Maintain absence or tardiness records;
note reasons given and related infractions, e.g., failure to produce required medical
Progressive disciplinary action should
be initiated in accordance with work rules and policies. Warnings
should be issued and reviewed with an employee where appropriate.
A delay in initiating progressive
discipline might result in the state unemployment agency ruling that the employee’s
conduct was being tolerated and, in effect, approved by the employer.
The last incident of absenteeism or
tardiness prior to discharge should involve conduct or behavior within the employee’s
control. (If an employee, for example, is ill, calls in as instructed, and furnishes
required medical documentation, there is no misconduct despite warnings.)
about Point Systems
employers use a “point” system to manage employee absences. These systems provide
a substantially simplified way to handle employee absences, but employers should remember
the requirement about the final incident. The final incident must be within the employee’s
control, so former employees frequently collect benefits even if their absences justify
dismissal under a point system.
This weblog is sponsored by TALX.
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