Leave-Related Misconduct may consist of an employee who is showing signs
of excessive use of sick leave and/or emergency leave request, unplanned
annual leave, frequent tardiness or suspected leave abuse.
Supervisors and employees should be aware of the various leave categories,
especially as they relate to “entitlements” so that leave is being
requested, and approved or disapproved appropriately. Having a basic
understanding of the various leave programs, the do’s and don’ts, when to
act, supervisory discretion, etc. may help resolve attendance issues early
and can help ensure that actions taken are done properly and are
supportable. The various leave categories consist can be found on the Leave
section on this website.
In dealing with attendance related issues a manager or supervisor should:
- Establish clear expectations for employees. Employees should know
when leave must be requested in advance, procedures to follow to request
leave, how to handle unscheduled leave requests, and that the
responsibility for requesting and documenting leave is the employees’.
Creating an office policy or sharing expectations in a staff meeting are
examples of communicating expectations to your employees.
- Inform employees as a group and individuals when necessary of
general leave issues concerning scheduling vacations, use or lose
procedures, call-in procedures, and contact information. Ensuring that
employees are well informed may help prevent some leave issues.
- Be consistent when applying the rules and document when rules are
not followed. Apply leave rules and policies consistently, while taking
into consideration the different circumstances of each case. Employees
in an office are very aware if one employee is being treated more or
less leniently for leave requests. Inconsistent or negligent leave
approval may affect employees’ morale and productivity. Document or keep
a record of leave request and leave use. Document counseling sessions
and concerns that you have addressed with employees. Documented concerns
create a clear message to employees and put them on notice.
- Handle leave matters early. There are a wide range of useful tools
that can be used in lieu of or in addition to disciplinary actions to
assist in correcting attendance related problems. Some of these tools
- Written Office Policy
- Oral Counseling
- Written counseling/caution/warning
- Letter of requirement
- Closer supervision
- Employee Assistance Program
NOTE: Bargaining Unit employees covered by
negotiated agreements may have special requirements involving some of the
tools mentioned above. Refer to the Negotiated Agreement before taking any