No-Fault attendance policies were meant to be a win/win. Employees did not have to come up with elaborate lies to explain away their absences, and employers had a way to punish employees that were spending far too much time away from work.
It was meant to be advantageous to both groups, with a slight advantage given to employers who now had a way out if their employees were frequently late or absent. But it turns out that these no-fault attendance policies frequently put companies in legal jeopardy if not properly defined and administered.
What is a No-Fault Attendance Policy?
It is important for employers to have some type of consistent attendance policy. Consistently protects the company should they decide they want to terminate an employee. By treating all employees equally based on a strict attendance policy, businesses protect themselves against unlawful termination suits.
No-fault attendance policies are a type of system where employees accrue points based on their attendance. They receive 1 point if they are absent and usually ½ points if they are late (as an example). These points are no-questions-asked. Employees can decide to take a day off at any time without requiring an excuse. But at a specific number of points, different punishments kick in, and eventually, they can be used as the basis to fire someone.
Why Are In-House No-Fault Attendance Policies Problematic?
By law, a business cannot punish someone under any circumstances if they are absent or tardy for reasons protected by law, such as the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) or the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). Examples include:
- Qualifying Medical Conditions
The original no-fault policies did not account for this, causing businesses to get sued, successfully, if they punished people for protected absences. But the problems did not end there. At work, frustration, biases, and busyness can cause people to incorrectly note points for absences and tardies. These mistakes can result in employees being punished for legitimate excuses, or employees being marked tardy or absent erroneously.
How an Attendance Hotline Can Provide Protection
Protection from these no-fault policy errors is one of many reasons to consider an attendance hotline or absentee reporting system. While the policies themselves should also be assessed, attendance hotlines give employees a dedicated phone number to call when they are planning to call off or they are about to be tardy, which in turn provide organizations with a means for properly classifying, documenting, and reporting on attendance occurrences.
A 24-hour live agent or automated IVR call-off system will record, timestamp, and log all of the information. It will then be provided to you in a way that you pre-designate and can be used to verify excused absences, log no-call/no-shows, and more. This ensures that each employee is accurately tracked, and you are protected from some of the issues that occur with a no-fault policy.
This example is one of many reasons to consider an attendance hotline for your business. For more information, contact us today.