#1  
Unread 12-28-2004, 05:00 AM
owenlady
 
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Default Occurrence (Attendance) Policy

We have an occurrence/attendance policy which says after 7 occurrences you are terminated. Pretty clear cut and though not well loved, it is understood.

The problem comes up each time we have inclement weather as we did last week and some employees cannot or do not make it to work. There is always consternation that they are charged an occurrence for what they cannot control.

We do however make sure that, if a city or town or the state in fact declares an emergency where people should not be on the road or if they are they are ticketed, we would not count that as an occurrence.

What do others of you do for inclement weather? Is it something you look at each time? Do you count an occurrence for employees under your attendance policy?

Any bit of information or opinion would be most appreciated.

You can post or you can email me at carole.owen@bgfh.com and I thank you most sincerely.

Carole
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  #2  
Unread 12-28-2004, 07:57 AM
LindaS
 
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Default RE: Occurrence (Attendance) Policy

While my current employer's attendance policy allows for exceptions due to the weather (we usually follow what the schools are doing), I have had employees take advantage of this exception. I remember one employee who lives no more than 2 blocks from work calling me last year to find out if she had to come to work due to the weather. There was an ice storm the previous evening but she did not work until 2nd shift and the temp. got above freezing so the ice melted. I told her she had to report for work that day.

My previous employer's policy did NOT make any exceptions for weather. An occurrence was an occurrence, period. I had more than one employee complain to me about "having to take their life into their own hands" to get to work in bad weather but I always reminded them that they were the ones who got themselves into attendance trouble in the first place. It may seem harsh but when one of these employees walked off their job for the day because it was nice outside, go to the corner liquor store and buy beer, then sit in the public park across the parking lot drinking the beer and taunt the employees who were still working (the loading dock doors were open), I became hardened to their complaints.

Hope this helps.
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  #3  
Unread 12-28-2004, 08:10 AM
owenlady
 
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Default RE: Occurrence (Attendance) Policy

That helps tremendously - my morale most of all. Thank you so very much for your response and so quickly.

Carole
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  #4  
Unread 12-28-2004, 08:10 AM
POPEYE
 
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Default RE: Occurrence (Attendance) Policy

We assess a "tempered" incident for weather related absences. This incident will disqualify an EE from perfect attendance awards, but if it gets to the disiplinary stage of discipline for attendance, we won't count the incident unless there is continued abuse. Do we get taken advantage of as LindaS outlined? Yes, but sooner or later the abusers will mess up and it will all be over with.
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  #5  
Unread 01-05-2005, 04:46 AM
Rockie
 
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Default RE: Occurrence (Attendance) Policy

If our practice is closed for the day, then we do not count the absence. If employees have to leave early, the time they leave is counted as time off (they can either use PTO or not get paid for the time. Hourly employees) This keeps the mad exodous from work from starting as soon as one snowflake falls in South Carolina.

If an employee feels they cannot get to work safely, we do not demand that they come in, but they have to use a PTO day. It is not counted towards our unscheduled absence policy. Yes, there are people who do take advantage of this, but as one poster said, they eventually mess up or use up all their leave.

Our area is so diverse that some areas are almost impassable while others closer in to the city have their roads cleared a lot sooner. Also, some areas lose power a lot quicker than others and also slower to get it back on.

We try to work with employees on these type issues.


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  #6  
Unread 01-05-2005, 06:13 AM
Down-the-Middle
 
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Default RE: Occurrence (Attendance) Policy

owenlady:
I share the thinking of Linda S. in that: an absence (occurrence) is an occurrence. Trying to differentiate will result in the dilemma of excused vs. unexcused absences and the myriad of options will evolve. If attendance is an issue for your employer (as it s/b) I couldn't agree with you more that 7 absences should lead to an invitation to leave. Seven absences in a 12 month period is simply too many in my opinion. Either someone is too ill to be a reliable member of your workforce or they're taking too many mental health days and then get in trouble for bona-fide illnesses.
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  #7  
Unread 01-05-2005, 06:20 AM
pork1
 
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Default RE: Occurrence (Attendance) Policy

OWENLADY: This is one of those places where management judgment comes to bear. While it must be an occurrance, as specified by your policy, it will always be given room for management decision to address the issue in a positive manner.

You probably should have a sunset clause for the 7 seperate events or is that 7 events in a career, if so I doubt the UI would support your company policy, if you terminate a long term employee who has had 7 events over a 12 year period of time, unless the 7 events were supported with write-ups and additional progressive penalty steps prior to seperation of an employer/employee relationship for pour attendance.

We must always remember that our products or services never get accomplished by the excused absence. My favorite way of explaining to our employees is that: "the doctor's excuse, PTO day or whatever reason an employee is absent" does not put baby "piglets" on the floor or in the baby basket. Paper/excuses only puts more pressure on the team to get the job done. Ice Hockey is the only team action I know of where a missing player/s does not stop the game, but everyone is trained to pick it up and play the game short handed, regardless of the circumstance. We too must keep rolling, but it certainly does not help the efficiency of the unit.

Absentism and Tardiness is the number #1 & #2 reasons for termination in our company. We have 3 days out and the 4th day one can be terminated within a 9 month period of time. Usually, once we get pass the 120 day period our attendance issues are no longer a concern, unless something different happens at work or at home. At that time we start over on the discipline process, but we never forget about the total amount of time lost to an absent event. When required, we include the amount of time lost in the current issue to make sure we address what was an old habit (if that is the case) coming up once again.

Hope this helps!

PORK
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  #8  
Unread 01-05-2005, 06:30 AM
owenlady
 
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Default RE: Occurrence (Attendance) Policy

To EVERYONE who has replied. Thank you so much. I so appreciate and value the opportunity to seek input from so many capable people. Sometimes it feels as if, for me at least, HR is the biggest, darkest hole there ever was!

We do 7 occurrences per rolling year. But if someone reaches 6 the 2nd year in a row, it is typically a Performance Improvement Plan and they are told if this happens again, they face termination.

Again, thanks to all.
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  #9  
Unread 01-05-2005, 06:43 AM
Whatever
 
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Default RE: Occurrence (Attendance) Policy

We actually have two separate policies. In our plant in NYC, most people either walk to work or use mass transit (or are within a block or two of mass transit but choose to drive). Therefore, unless the weather is really harsh (a foot or two of snow, or a layer of ice that makes walking dangerous), ees are expected to work when the building is open. Therefore, they must use a PTO and it is counted under the attendance policy.

In NJ (which gets more snow and ice than NYC), people drive to work. Therefore, we are a lot more lenient. The ee can (not must) use a PTO. It is not counted under the attendance.




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