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HR Insights with Ali: How Habitually Tardy Employees Affect Your Practice


Posted on 1/4/2017 by Ali Oromchian, Esq.
With all of the recent legislation benefiting employees - pending FLSA regulations, minimum wage increases, and increased sick leave ordinances, for example - ensuring compliance with employee-friendly laws can be a daunting task. These new requirements should not, however, lead to your practice overlooking more common employee issues which can lead to complications with your business. One of the most common employee problems is habitual tardiness.

When an employee is repeatedly late for work, this causes a ripple effect in the rest of your practice. While emergencies do arise, the impact of the habitual tardiness of one employee can be greater than you imagine. Failing to address habitual tardiness can cause the following problems:

  • Resentment among other employees who arrive on time;
  • Decreased productivity due to a reduced staff - even for a short period of time;
  • Reduced respect among employees for the overall expectations of your workforce

When it comes to battling habitual tardiness, your most important weapon is a strong documentation system. First, your employee handbook should address the consequences of repeated late arrivals - including termination. Second, you need to keep track of when an employee arrives late, in order to support termination if such action is later required. This process is made much simpler if you are using a timekeeping system, which helps you keep track of the number of tardy arrivals for each employee. Regardless of which system you choose, maintaining accurate records of late arrivals is essential. Third, you should have a system in place for addressing tardiness immediately. This helps to establish a clear record that an employee was warned that his or her tardiness was not acceptable and that termination is possible without immediate compliance with requirements.

If you have questions or need assistance with establishing and maintaining a proper documentation system for tardiness and other employee issues, reach out to employment counsel or an HR expert.
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