3.0.11 Attendance Standards for Non-Academic Employees and Non-Represented Academic Employees

Administrative Responsibility:  Associate Vice President (AVP) and Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO)

PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to outline the Wayne State University attendance standards for Non-Academic employees.

SCOPE

This policy covers all employee groups except the following:

  • Academic Represented
  • Graduate Assistant
  • Part-time Faculty
  • Student Assistant (including College Work Study)

DEFINITIONS

Excessive Absenteeism

For the purposes of this policy, excessive  absenteeism is defined as: (#1) more than 6 occasions of unscheduled absence in a twelve (12) month rolling year, or  (#2) unscheduled absence in excess of forty-five (45) hours, involving four (4) or more occasions (in excess of forty-eight (48) hours for employees scheduled to work eight (8) hours/day): pro-rated for fractional time in a twelve (12) month rolling year.

Excessive Tardiness

For the purposes of this policy, excessive tardiness is defined as incurring more than six (6) incidents of unscheduled tardiness in a twelve (12) month rolling year (upon committing the 7th incident of tardiness).

Unusual Attendance

For the purposes of this policy, unusual attendance includes but is not limited to:

  1. A pattern of missing certain days of the week.
  2. Calling in sick on day(s) for which a time-off request was previously denied.
  3. Taking sick days adjacent to holidays, vacation, personal days, or other time off.

Automatic Resignation

For the purposes of this policy, an employee who is absent without previous permission or without notifying his/her supervisor, for three (3) consecutive working days, such action is deemed to be an Automatic Resignation.

Occasion

For the purposes of this policy, an occasion is defined as an absence of 3.8 hours or more for an employee working a 7.5 hour day, and four (4.0) hours or more for an employee working an eight (8.0) hour day.

POLICY

SUPERVISOR NOTIFICATION

The supervisor is to be notified by an employee of any anticipated reasons that might cause the employee to vary from their assigned work schedule.  An employee is expected to call in to the department or unit and speak with his/her supervisor (or his/her designee). An employee is required to notify his/her supervisor in advance when he/she expects to be absent. When this is not possible, as in the case of sudden illness, an employee is required to call his/her supervisor or the supervisor's designee as soon as possible and explain why he/she is going to be absent and when he/she expects to return. Situations where such notice would be impossible are very rare and will be closely scrutinized.

It is expected that the employee will call in to the department or unit and speak with his/her supervisor or his/her designee each and every day of absence unless specifically directed to do otherwise by their supervisor. It is usually not acceptable to leave such messages in a voicemail or an electronic communication (e.g. text, email, etc.) unless specifically authorized, as instructions may need to be provided regarding verification issues.

Under situations caused by declared National, State and/or Local Emergencies, including a pandemic, supervisors are encouraged to be flexible and understanding of each employee's situation when applying Attendance Standards.

MEDICAL VERIFICATION/DISCIPLINARY ACTION REVIEW

An employee who has excessive absences may be subject to ongoing medical verification. Placing an employee on medical verification, and/or initiating disciplinary action can be expected after the sixth (6th) occasion of unscheduled absence in a twelve (12) month rolling year. Or, such action may also be initiated on a case-by-case basis upon exceeding forty-five (45) hours of absence involving four (4) or more occasions of absence and forty-eight (48) hours for an employee scheduled to work day eight (8) hours and pro-rated for fractional time.

In reviewing the appropriateness of medical verification or disciplinary action for absences in excess of forty-five (45) hours involving four (4) or more occasions and in excess of forty-eight (48) hours for employees scheduled to work eight (8) hours and pro-rated for fractional time in a twelve (12) month rolling year, supervisors shall consider such factors as the prior twelve (12) months' attendance history, the past attendance disciplinary history and unusual patterns of sick leave such as those set forth in the Term(s)/Definition(s) section of this policy.

The purpose of the review is to avoid premature discipline of an employee who has been conscientious about attendance in the past, but may encounter a rare, bad year of attendance difficulties beyond his/her control.

However, the university retains the right to require medical verification, and/or to counsel or assess discipline, earlier than or after the sixth (6th) occasion, depending on the circumstances (Refer to the Discipline Section of this policy).

An employee placed on medical verification must provide a physician's statement or that of another appropriate health care provider as defined in the Family Medical Leave Act and Wayne State University FMLA policy, to the supervisor or other designated person for occasions of absence during the period when verification is required.  The failure to provide medical verification or adequately supplement an inadequate verification, after being required to do so, could result in loss of pay, and/or disciplinary action.

An employee with excessive and/or unusual attendance may also be subject to medical verification and discipline.

Employee medical notes or records should not be retained at the department level due to HIPAA regulations.  All employee medical information should be sent immediately to the HR Service Center. 

DISCIPLINE

An employee who is absent excessively is subject to discipline. After appropriate counseling and discipline, an employee with excessive absences may be subject to termination.

Termination is a very serious matter for both the university and the employee. Terminations for tardiness or absence will be handled on a case-by-case basis and will be carefully reviewed. Progressive discipline will be taken, as appropriate, against an employee who violates attendance standards, or commits other unacceptable attendance infractions. Disciplinary action for poor attendance should be well documented.

For an exempt employee, progressive discipline excludes suspensions for less than a full workweek for any week in which work is performed.

The falsification of medical verifications or time reporting controls, such as time sheets, Web Time Entry (WTE), sign-in sheets and time clocks, is regarded as major misconduct and may subject violators to discharge. Counseling by supervisors or management is strongly encouraged prior to formal discipline for minor offenses.

3.0.11.1 Tardiness

It is reasonable to expect employees to be promptly at their places of work and ready to work during all of his/her scheduled work hours. Employees working remotely are expected to be available and working during scheduled work hours. Tardiness can lead to docking of pay (for non-exempt employees) and progressive discipline, as appropriate.

The supervisor is to be notified by an employee of any anticipated reasons that might cause the employee to arrive to work late the following day.  Employees are to call in if they anticipate arriving late, including returning late from a scheduled break or lunch.  After arriving late, the supervisor is notified and an explanation given.  Employees working remotely should follow the same protocol when reporting tardiness to their supervisor.  Employees who are frequently tardy, absent, or who leave work early, may be subject to disciplinary action.

An employee incurring more than six (6) incidents of unscheduled tardiness in a twelve (12) month rolling year is considered to be excessively tardy. An employee who has excessive incidents of tardiness may be subject to disciplinary action. For the purposes of this policy, such action can be expected after the sixth (6th) incident of unscheduled tardiness in a twelve (12) month rolling year (upon committing the seventh incident of tardiness).

3.0.11.2 Absenteeism

Regular attendance is expected for all employees. Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA's) and university policies recognize that an employee will be occasionally absent due to illness, injury or other reasons specifically identified in Collective Bargaining Agreements and/or university policies. An employee will use his/her illness bank for absence from work due to illness. An illness bank is intended to be used only under those circumstances and it is not an entitlement. Employees working remotely are expected to notify their supervisor timely of all instances of illness and injury. (Refer to the Supervisor Notification section of this policy for notification procedures).

Employees who are frequently absent may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.  An employee who is absent without previous permission or without notifying his/her supervisor, for three (3) consecutive working days is deemed to be an automatic resignation.

Supervisors should approve and report lost time in increments of actual time used lost (Non-Exempt employees only) or not less than 7.5 or 8.0 hours- 1 day increments. (Exempt employees only). Emergency time off may be reported in increments of .5 hours (Non-Exempt employees only)

When a Floating Holiday has been approved, the time off should be reported as a full day (7.5 or 8.0 hours).

PROCEDURE

Responsibility

Action

Department Supervisor

  1. Submit accurate Web Time Entry (WTE) or Time Exception Reports on all employees.
  2. Review bi-weekly, the Attendance Tracking System (ATS) Occasions Report (HR018A) for employees nearing non-compliance with this policy (Supervisors should consult with their department's business office for assistance in accessing attendance related reports, as needed).
  3. Counsel employees nearing non-compliance with this policy.
  4. Consult with the assigned HR Consultant before initiating disciplinary action for a non-academic represented and non-represented employee.
  5. The HR Consultant will consult with Labor Relations and together advise the supervisor on recommended actions to be taken.
  6. Administer discipline to a non-academic non-represented employee in non-compliance after appropriate consultation with the HR Consultant.
  7. Administer discipline to a non-academic represented employee in non-compliance after appropriate consultation with the HR Consultant and the Labor Relations department.

 

HR Client Services – HR Consultant and Labor Relations

  1. Advise departments as to consistent application of discipline for non-compliance:
    1. HR Client Services – HR Consultants will be the first point of contact for the supervisor in all Employment and Labor Relations matters.  The HR Consultant will work with Labor Relations collaboratively to manage and advise supervisors of their recommended course of action(s). Labor Relations - Non-academic represented employees.  Labor Relations will work with HR Client Services – HR Consultants as noted above.

APPENDICES

N/A

RELATED UNIVERSITY/BOARD POLICIES

N/A

Effective Date: 11/12/2012

Revised Date: 9/1/2020

Reviewed Date: 10/14/2020

To be reviewed, at minimum, every three years and/or revised as needed by:  Associate Vice President (AVP) and Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO)

Next Review By Date: 10/13/2023

SUPERSEDES POLICY

N/A

HISTORICAL DATES

11/12/12