The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) estimates that over 3% of an employer’s workforce is absent on any given day.  These absences can be critical, especially in time-sensitive industries that require almost round-the-clock operations, such as manufacturing, transportation, and health care.  To combat this challenge, many of these businesses implement No-fault Attendance Policies.

No-fault attendance policies—also called no-fault absence policies—operate by placing points on an employee’s record for each absence or tardy, regardless of the reason.  The points accrue over a designated period, like a year.  Employees might be disciplined or fired if they reach certain point levels.  Specific point totals and the consequences may vary for each employer.

However, no-fault attendance policies are coming under fire because they can conflict with legally protected time off under federal, state, or local law.  For example, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and various state and city paid-sick-leave laws guarantee time off without punishment.  So, assessing a point for taking legally protected time off would be illegal.

For example, suppose an employee with a disability needs unpaid leave as a reasonable accommodation.  In that case, the employer must modify its no-fault attendance policy to provide the employee with additional leave with some exceptions, according to guidance from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  

What are the elements needed to manage an Attendance Policy?

1.  Clear Policies

Attendance Policies should be clearly written and accessible to employees at all times.  Employees should be trained on how to address an attendance violation, including how and when to notify their supervisor.  Verify with your attorney that your policies align with all federal, state, and local laws. 

2.  Robust Tracking System

Attendance policy tracking methods should integrate with your time and attendance system.  For example, any related activity should automatically record on an employee’s time card.  In addition, the system should trigger a notification to the supervisor for them to take the proper action.  Finally, managers should use the tracking system to address attendance issues and quickly notify employees of their status.

3. Trained Management

Supervisors and Management need to be trained on federal, state, and local laws and use this information to decide whether attendance issues fall under protected leave.  In addition, they need an understanding of all company policies and procedures.

How can we help?

A streamlined Attendance Policy strategy will help your organization meet its obligations while minimizing administrative investments.  Time Equipment Company’s Attendance Policy System notifies managers of all policy events and allows them to make determinations on protected leave.  The system keeps the company compliant and lowers absenteeism by encouraging wanted behavior.

To learn how we can help your company manage absenteeism, contact Time Equipment Company at or 800-997-8463.

*This information simplifies complex Acts as it is understood by Time Equipment Company. It is not to be taken as legal advice. The regulations for this program are changing.  For further information, contact your state or local Department of Labor.