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ABSENTEEISM LAW &LEGAL DEFINITION

Absenteeism in employment law is the state of not being present that occurs when an employee is absent or not present at work during a normally scheduled work period. Absences may be scheduled or unscheduled.

Scheduled: Absences are scheduled in advance for such events as vacation, medical appointments, military service, family activities, jury duty, funerals, and other happenings which cannot be scheduled outside of regular work hours. Unscheduled: Absences and tardies are considered unscheduled for such events as illness, family emergencies, transportation emergencies, family member illness and/or death, and household emergencies such as flooding. Absences are excused, unexcused, or no-fault.

Excused: Absences are discussed and excused in advance of the absence, by the supervisor, for such events as vacation, medical appointments, military service, family activities, jury duty, funerals, and other happenings which cannot be scheduled outside of regular work hours. Unexcused: Absences are not discussed and excused in advance, by the supervisor, for such events as illness, family emergencies, transportation emergencies, family member illness and/or death, and household emergencies such as flooding. No-fault: Absences are considered "no-fault." No attempt to classify an absence as excused or unexcused is attempted. Each employee is allowed a certain number of days off from work, at their discretion. Progressive discipline is used when the employee exceeds the number of allowed absences. Absences are compensated and uncompensated.

Compensated: Absences are generally compensated when their frequency and rationale fall within the guidelines established in the organization's attendance policy. These compensated absences may depend upon certain required employee actions such as seeking permission for scheduled absences from work in advance, or calling in to report an unscheduled absence within organization timelines and expectations. Uncompensated: Absences are generally uncompensated when they number in excess of the allowed absences stated in the organization's attendance policy. Excessive absenteeism is governed by the policies of the individual school system, institution, or employer, which vary by entity. Some schools are required to develop procedures for dealing with excessive absenteeism. The following is an example of an employer's policy on excessive absenteeism: "Excessive absenteeism is defined as three (3) or more spells of absenteeism in any ninety (90) day period. First offense - written counseling and warning that continued excessive absenteeism will lead to subsequent disciplinary action. Second offense - written counseling session and warning that continued excessive absenteeism will lead to termination. Third offense - termination."

Additional Definitions
Absenteeism
Absenteeism is the term generally used to refer to unscheduled employee absences from the workplace. Many causes of absenteeism are legitimate—personal illness or family issues, for example—but absenteeism can also be traced to factors such as a poor work environment or workers who lack commitment to their jobs. If such absences become excessive, they can adversely impact the operations and, ultimately, the profitability of a business. COSTS OF ABSENTEEISM

Unscheduled absences are costly to business. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, companies lose approximately 2.8 million workdays a year because of employee injuries and illnesses. The inability to plan for these unexpected absences means that companies hire last minute temporary workers, or pay overtime to their regular workers, to cover labor shortfalls; they may also maintain a higher staffing level regularly in anticipation of absences. According to Matt Lewis, in an article entitled "Sickened by the Cost of Absenteeism," which appeared in Workforce in the fall of 2003, "Three to 6 percent of any given workforce is absent every day due...
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