Kaufman & Forman, P.C.
Call to arrange a consultation
678-957-7769 | 770-390-9200
Contact Us
practice areas

Guarding against excessive absenteeism

There are a number of federal and state time-off entitlements that employees can utilize. This can make it difficult for even the most competent HR administrator to stay compliant with all the laws. Some administrators and owners may even be reluctant to terminate an employee on attendance-based issues because of complications and potential legal problems if they violate the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

However, employers and HR professionals can confidently protect the company if they pay careful attention to the number of absences and make note of the reasons.

Beckman v. Wal-Mart

This case is helpful in illustrating how employers can protect themselves against absenteeism The employee was notified in 2014 that they had 110 hours of unexcused absences. Per company guidelines, the employee was informed that any additional absentee infractions would lead to dismissal. The employee missed additional time a few weeks later and was dismissed. The employee applied for FMLA protection two days later. The employee also claimed after dismissal that he asked the company to switch him to a different job that did not require heavy lifting as a shipping loader to accommodate a disability.

The court rulings

In this case the appeals court ruled that the employee was not protected by FMLA because he was dismissed before he applied. The ADA claim was also denied on the basis that the job description of heavy lifting was an essential function of the job. Therefore, the employer was not required to provide the accommodation. There was also no evidence that the employee had asked for a transfer to a different job that did not require heavy lifting.

Employment guidelines and good record keeping

The above is a simplified version of a case that was more complicated, however the reason why employer won the case is simple. The HR department had clear guidelines in regards to absenteeism and how it would be handled. The department followed those protocols. Accurate record keeping also supported the employer’s case in court, leading to favorable decisions.

An attorney can help HR departments and business owners draft protocols about excessive absences, request for transfers and other issues. This will help protect them, as it did for Wal-mart, in a court of law.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Contact Kaufman & Forman, P.C. Now

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

get Legal Help Now

Kaufman & Forman, P.C.
8215 Roswell Road
Building 800
Atlanta, GA 30350

Toll Free: 800-461-5864
Phone: 678-957-7769
Fax: 770-395-6720
Atlanta Law Office Map

Review Us

Robert Kaufman has been selected as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in ‘Commercial Litigation’ as will be published in the May issue of The American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel magazine.Alex Kaufman has been selected as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in ‘Commercial Litigation’ as will be published in the December issue of The American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel magazine.

*AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories: legal ability and general ethical standards.