Employment Law Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law and HR

Nov 20, 2012

Finding Fault in No-Fault Attendance Policies

Q&ALeave Laws 

Q: We have a no-fault attendance policy that does not count someone with a medical excuse as an incident. Some of our employees are starting to work the system by bringing in doctor’s notes for everything. Would it be illegal to count these as incidents?

A: Illegal? Maybe. Risky? Definitely. While no-fault attendance policies seem fair, you can end up with one of two problems. If you throw medical absences in with the rest, you could improperly deny FMLA leave or ADA accommodation (exactly why the EEOC tagged Verizon for $20 million in 2011). But if you don’t count medical absences, some employees will abuse the system. If employees are abusing your no-fault system, call your Vigilant staff representative. We’ll help review and refine your absence management process.

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