Educating Your Employees about Absences


Clarifying your company policy on various time-off claims is essential!

What is it … sick time, family leave, paid time off or just a non-paid absence from work? Employees are not the only ones confused!

When it comes to classifying an employee’s absence, employers themselves can be fuzzy about the differences. Some employers just don’t note the differences until they are sure an employee may be abusing one of the classifications. Here’s a 3-step process that can help you reduce employee confusion and abuse when recording workplace absences.

Step 1: Develop a clear company policy on absences.

Absences are a constant issue that employer’s deal with daily so an employer must develop a company policy covering all the different types of absences.  When your company decides to clarify its absence and time off policies, the first rule is to review current federal family leave laws, and various Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries [BOLI]  leave and sick leave laws, paid time or vacation laws.

Step 2: Record your policy in the company handbook.

Publish this policy in your company handbook—don’t forget to include within the policy a list of consequences if the employee has been found to abuse any of these classifications. This list would include warnings, probation, and termination protocols. Remember—your handbook is your go-to document that supports the company in case of employee claims.

Step 3: Communicate, communicate, communicate!

It is imperative that a company communicates this policy to all staff yearly, not just to your HR Manager, but communicated to senior management, supervisors, and every employee. This communication can be done through a company-wide memo or employee meetings. The initial review of this policy must be done during the “on-boarding” process with any new employee you hire.

Clarification is your insurance policy against employee abuse of absences.

Some employers avoid telling their employee’s what their legal rights are when it comes to claiming time off for fear that their employees may try to play the system.  But employers have already informed their employees of these laws as they are found on each Labor Law poster every employer is mandated to post in their workplace!

However, by purposely reviewing your policy with all staff on an annual basis, you create a culture of awareness that will prompt your staff and employees to self-classify their absence.  If you have an employee that seems to be abusing a classification, then you as an employer have already established the legal grounds to invoke warnings or take disciplinary action.

Cardinal Services has your workplace solutions!

As a professional employment services provider, Cardinal has many years of experience in helping growing companies develop and implement employment policies, including those covering employee absences. We even have four model Oregon sick leave policies that you can quickly implement, including front-load, paid sick leave, front load unpaid sick leave, paid sick leave, and unpaid sick leave.

Our services include helping you develop company policies that are compliant with state and federal labor laws, providing handbook templates, helping you create a customized handbook specifically tailored to your company or industry, and providing HR services that take the stress out of disciplining employees.

Call today to get the help you need (800) 342-4742.

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