Poor Gloria. She had a horrible case of the flu and spent Friday and Monday in mattress – or so she mentioned when she referred to as in sick. However not based on her coworker John, who says he noticed footage on Fb of Gloria with a gaggle of girls on Friday celebrating and making ready for a buddy’s wedding ceremony.

What’s an employer to do?

First, reply the query: Why ought to we care?


You must deal with the problem. By ignoring it you might be condoning the habits.

The actual fact is, your group might not rely on one worker’s day-to-day attendance. For instance, the IT division can in all probability nonetheless function if Gloria calls in sick. But when Gloria works on a producing line and her coworker can’t go away till she clocks in, then her absence impacts productiveness and staff morale instantly.

After all, this assumes that Gloria’s absenteeism just isn’t a bigger sample of habits. Crucial factor is to not leap to conclusions. Collect the information – not rumors or sneaking suspicions.

Begin along with your time-keeping data

Your time administration report can present patterns of absenteeism or poor attendance. Does Gloria are likely to take sick time on Fridays, Mondays or days surrounding holidays?

If it is a sample of habits, it undoubtedly must be addressed. However, even when it’s a one-time incidence, you continue to want to speak to the worker.

What does your absenteeism coverage say?

Has Gloria adopted notification procedures? Nicely-written insurance policies would require workers to name their supervisor by a sure time of day. The coverage ought to be clear about with whom, when and learn how to make contact. Is a textual content or e mail acceptable? Or does it need to be a cellphone name and direct dialog with the supervisor?

This coverage may also embody when or if a health care provider’s observe is required. Many firms use the three-day guideline for sick days, however ensure you don’t run afoul of any obligatory sick go away regulation that your organization could also be topic to. We’ll focus on extra about that under.


… a common PTO coverage that encompasses each sick time and trip time rewards workers who don’t have frequent sicknesses and discourages individuals from taking sick days off once they’re not sick.

Test your go away insurance policies

Has Gloria exhausted all of her allotted trip time? Is she on the lookout for a approach to attend her buddy’s bachelorette celebration? Corporations with day without work insurance policies that separate sick time from trip time might encourage using paid sick time when workers aren’t sick. There could also be a notion that they’re “due” these days. If the coverage permits 10 days, some workers might anticipate to get 10 days, it doesn’t matter what.

However, a common PTO coverage that encompasses each sick time and trip time rewards workers who don’t have frequent sicknesses and discourages individuals from taking sick days off once they’re not sick.

Don’t overlook state and native legal guidelines

As extra cities and states enact their very own sick go away legal guidelines, it’s more durable than ever to maintain up with all the necessities governing paid sick time, notably if your organization operates in a number of jurisdictions.

For example, California, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and a number of other different cities and counties have sick-leave legal guidelines that require firms present a sure variety of hours of paid sick go away annually.

Some states, reminiscent of California, permit workers to make use of half of their paid sick go away to take care of a partner, home accomplice, youngster or youngster of a home accomplice. Different states, like New Jersey, require employers to let sick time be used for causes associated to high school occasions and/or conferences.

Sure metropolis legal guidelines even have particular protection. Emeryville, Calif., requires that obligatory sick time be accessible to care on your service canine, and Minneapolis and St. Paul each require that the time be accessible to be used as a result of inclement climate.


As extra cities and states enact their very own sick go away legal guidelines, it’s more durable than ever to maintain up with all the necessities.

A majority of those legal guidelines additionally set parameters round when a observe could be requested, and a few prohibit employers from penalizing staff by “counting” absences coated below the sick regulation towards an worker’s attendance. These necessities transcend what the federal FMLA supplies.

Complicating issues, these sick go away necessities might run counter to an organization’s PTO coverage that lumps all forms of go away collectively. For example, Santa Monica, Calif. requires employers to have a stand-alone sick time coverage, particularly precluding PTO or different combination-type plans from assembly the necessities of the regulation.

Check out the worker’s historical past

Has the particular person been dishonest in different areas? Does the worker produce other efficiency issues? Or is that this the primary time you’ve needed to reprimand them? The way you deal with it should rely upon each your organization’s self-discipline coverage and its go away insurance policies.

Social media: Proceed with warning

It’s one factor if Gloria’s bachelorette celebration is so wild it makes the entrance web page of the newspaper. In that case, the knowledge is public, and you should utilize the information story throughout your chat. Nevertheless, social media stays a murky space of worker privateness.

If Gloria’s Fb settings are open and everybody can see her footage from the bachelorette celebration, it’s in all probability okay to print out the photographs to be used throughout your speak. Nevertheless, it’s best to proceed with warning in the event you can’t personally entry her web page. You shouldn’t ask one other worker with entry to her social media accounts to print out footage for you or in any other case confirm what’s on Gloria’s accounts.

Assessment your organization’s progressive self-discipline coverage

This outlines how your group handles these conditions, reminiscent of poor worker attendance and the development of self-discipline. A typical plan of action begins with a verbal warning, transferring on to a written warning, presumably to suspension after which termination. This ought to be a part of your organization handbook and is supposed to present pointers and aid you be constant.


Crucial factor is to not leap to conclusions. Collect the information – not rumors or sneaking suspicions.

It’s time for a chat

A part of gathering information consists of speaking to the worker. You must deal with the problem. By ignoring it, you might be condoning the habits. It can also influence staff morale, work efficiency and productiveness.

Different staff might even see it as affecting how a lot work they’ve to soak up when somebody is out, or they see the worker as getting away with not following firm coverage. Routine absences might trigger an organization to fall under its manufacturing or efficiency targets. Share how an absence impacts these items of the enterprise.

Let the worker know you’ve observed the absences. This is a chance to set attendance expectations. However, it additionally provides you an opportunity to ask questions.

“Is there something I must find out about? Something you want from me?” You’ll be able to ask in the event that they anticipate this to be an ongoing situation.

Perhaps you’re not conscious of an underlying continual well being situation. Perhaps the worker wants a schedule adjustment or lodging based mostly on the People with Disabilities Act. Don’t assume you realize all of the information till you have got talked with the worker.

In Gloria’s case, it is perhaps awkward, however the dialog has to occur. Your opening line is perhaps: “I would like you to know that somebody noticed footage on Fb of you out with pals on Friday. You referred to as in sick. What are you able to inform me about this?”

Clarify the influence on the remainder of the staff: “Not being right here impacts the staff in these methods …”

If it is a one-time situation, it might finish with a verbal counseling session and the supervisor making observe of the dialogue. If it’s an ongoing situation, it might advance to a written warning. The secret is to have a progressive self-discipline coverage in place and be constant.