Employee tardiness can be a problem for any profession, business, or industry.  The following are some actions an employer may take to address the problem.

1.  Emphasize the Importance of Coming to Work on Time
Employees need to understand that reporting to work on time is mandatory and part of their job requirements.  You can make sure employees understand this by emphasizing the employees’ role in the big corporate picture and how their being at work on time helps the company meet demands.

2.  Create Consequences
It needs to be clear that all employees are accountable for their actions and that there are consequences for violating company policies.  You may need a tougher attendance policy to make this point.  Before instituting a more stringent policy, however, you should consider issues such as:

  • Is there a medical or a harassment issue involved in the employee’s tardiness?
  • Are there other problems with their performance?
  • Is tardiness a chronic or sporadic problem?
  • What is your threshold for considering an employee tardy?
  • Can the problem be solved simply by changing the employee’s work hours so that he/she regularly reports to work 15 minutes later and leave 15 minutes later?

3.  Standardize Your Response
Employees in managerial positions should understand how to effectively and consistently discipline employees.  They also need to know that their own performance is in part measured by how well their employees perform and follow company policies.  Thus, emphasize that managers be consistent in their discipline and their efforts to help achieve company goals.  One way for a manager to make sure his or her subordinates arrive to work on time is to have department roll call or a short stand-up meeting each morning.

4.  Dock the Pay of Non-Exempt Employees
Although docking of pay is generally not allowed for exempt employees, an employer is fully entitled to dock the pay of non-exempt employees who report late to work.   You may not deduct more than the proportionate wage that would have been earned during the time actually lost – however, for a loss of time less than 30 minutes, one half-hour’s wage may be deducted.  For example, if an employee whose hourly rate of pay is $20 per hour comes in 12 minutes late, you may deduct $10.

Need more information?
ESKRIDGE LAW may be contacted by phone (310/303-3951), by fax (310/303-3952) or by email (geskridge@eskridgelaw.net.)  Please also visit our website at www.eskridgelaw.net.

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