Attendance - HR Policy 619

Attendance - HR Policy 619

This policy addresses attendance requirements for university employees and employees of UAB Hospital and The Kirklin Clinic at UAB Hospital. For hospital employees, this policy describes the steps of corrective action for policy violations.
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Policy 619 – Attendance  

Date Issued: 11/91
Date Revised: 10/14  

Employees are required to report to work, in uniform if applicable, and to be prepared for duty at the beginning of their work period. Being repeatedly absent from work or tardy to work without good reason jeopardizes an employee's merit evaluation and presents grounds for discharge.  

UAB Hospital and The Kirklin Clinic of UAB Hospital
(The following is effective October 1, 2014.  This policy supersedes any previous attendance policies.) 


Maintaining a stable and reliable workforce is critical to the effective and efficient delivery of health care services.  Excessive tardiness and absenteeism negatively affect patient care and employee morale and are therefore unacceptable. It is recognized that unplanned time away from work will be necessary.  This policy sets forth the expectations for attendance, communication requirements, and establishes corrective action standards for unacceptable attendance. 


Due to the different operational needs between ambulatory clinics and an inpatient hospital environment, definitions related to absences and tardies will vary.  When an employee has an unplanned absence due to illness, a physician’s statement may be required.  A healthcare provider/physician’s certification does not automatically “excuse” the absence and is subject to being counted as an occurrence under the Attendance Policy.  Consideration will be given as to whether the absence(s) qualify under the Family and Medical Leave Act. 

Unplanned Absence

Unplanned Absence - Ambulatory

An unplanned absence is a scheduled shift or series of consecutive scheduled shifts where the employee fails to report for work or fails to work more than one half of the assigned shift and such time was not approved in advance by the supervisor.  For the consecutive shifts scheduled, the absence will be counted as one occurrence if the time off is for the same illness/reason.

Unplanned Absence - Inpatient Departments

An unplanned absence is a scheduled shift or series of consecutive scheduled shifts where the employee fails to report for work or when the employee is not at work more than one (1) hour after the start of the assigned shift or departs from work more than one (1) hour before the end of the scheduled shift and such time was not approved in advance by the supervisor.  For the consecutive shifts scheduled, the absence will be counted as one occurrence if the time off is for the same illness/reason.

A healthcare provider/physician’s certification and/or employee health referral may be required for such absences to be paid.


Tardy - Ambulatory

A tardy is any time an employee fails to be at their work station ready to work at their scheduled start time, as well as returning late from lunch or break.

Tardy - Inpatient Departments

A tardy is any time an employee fails to be at their work station ready to begin work at the scheduled start time.  For consistency, tardy is defined as being more than five (5) minutes past the scheduled start time.  Other unscheduled and non-approved absences such as returning late from a meal or rest break and leaving early may also be considered as occurrences of tardy and/or unplanned absences and counted accordingly.

Failure to Clock in and/or out or Mis-Badge, Mis-Punch

Employees are expected to follow the established guidelines for recording their actual hours worked.  Failure to properly badge/clock in or out will result in a mis-badge/mis-punch for the shift and will be counted in the same manner as a tardy.    

Misrepresentation of Time Worked/Failure to be at Assigned Work Station As Scheduled  

Misrepresentation of time worked (previously referred to as “ramping”) is when an employee may clock in but does not directly report to his/her assigned work area to begin work or clocks in and leaves the work area.  For example, an employee clocks in and then subsequently leaves to park his/her car, or leaves the designated work area to obtain food, put up personal items, etc. and fails to begin work in the assigned work area as scheduled.  Managers may also address, through progressive disciplinary action, a pattern of not being at the workstation, ready to begin work by the scheduled shift start time.  Misrepresentation is also when an employee clocks in/out for another employee.  Misrepresentation of work is subject to disciplinary action up to and including immediate termination of employment without prior warnings. 

No Call/No Show and Job Abandonment/AWOL

Employees are expected to notify their department in accordance with their department’s procedures for absences and/or tardies in the event he/she cannot be at work as scheduled.  An employee who fails to call or report to work is considered a no call/no show.  Any one incident of failure to call/show may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.  Three (3) consecutive scheduled shifts of failure to be at work as scheduled and failure to notify the department will be considered job abandonment/AWOL  and subject to termination of employment.

Scheduled Work Shift

Any time that an employee is scheduled to work includes: voluntary, mandatory overtime shifts, and/or scheduled shifts.  Because of the various types of shifts and hours of operation, each department may have different procedures for calling in and reporting off.  


Should an employee need to be absent or late reporting to work, it is the employee’s responsibility to notify the department in accordance with the department’s notification process.  Employees are required to report in on a daily basis when absent (this is not required for employees on an approved continuous leave of absence). 

Requests in advance are recommended when employees are requesting time off for vacation, personal holiday and/or planned sick time based on department guidelines.  Should the employee fail to receive approval in advance, the time off will be counted as an unplanned absence.   


Attendance will be monitored on a regular basis and unsatisfactory attendance will be addressed in a timely and consistent manner.  If the employee demonstrates a pattern or practice of absenteeism or tardiness in an attempt to circumvent the policy or fails to begin work as scheduled thereby affecting patient care and/or business, additional disciplinary action may be taken and may be outside the steps listed below.  Examples of such practices are:  an employee always calls in on a Friday or Monday; the employee always calls in for two consecutive days off; or, employee clocks in at the closest clock to the entrance to the building and is not at the assigned work area ready to begin work.   

The steps of documented progressive discipline are as follows:  

Step 1: Documented Verbal Warning

Step 2:  1st Written Warning

Step 3:  2nd Written Warning (May include a suspension without pay and/or imposed probation)

Step 4: Termination

Once an employee reaches the documented verbal warning stage, progressive steps will be issued for attendance occurrences that continue within the rolling 12-month period. 

An employee who has accumulated at least three (3) written warnings in an eighteen (18) month period is subject to termination without proceeding through the remaining steps of progressive discipline.  These warnings may be for any reason to include attendance, performance, behavior, etc.


A rolling twelve (12) month period will be considered in monitoring attendance.  Attendance will be monitored with the most recent occurrence and subsequent disciplinary action taken for additional occurrences.  


Unplanned absences, tardies (including late return from lunch/break), and unscheduled early departures and missed punches will be counted as occurrences as follows:

Unplanned Absence - Attendance issues that meet the definition of an unplanned absence (as noted above) will count as one (1) occurrence.

Tardy - Late arrival/returning from lunch/break, leaving early or mis-punches (as noted above) will count as a half occurrence (1/2).

Occurrences will be counted as follows:

  • Total of five (5) occurrences (for any reason) = Documented Verbal Warning

  • Additional Full Occurrences (s); total of six (6) occurrences for any reason = Written Warning

  • Additional Full Occurrences; total of seven (7) occurrences (for any reason) = 2nd Written warning (may include suspension and/or imposed probation)

  • Additional Full Occurrences' total of eight (8) occrrences (for any reason) = Termination

NOTE:  Movement through the steps above are to be executed in full increments of an occurrence(s) and not with a half (1/2) occurrence.  For example, if an employee receives a verbal warning at 5.5 occurrences, then a written warning could not be given until the employee had reached 6.5 or more occurrences. 

Double Occurrences for Absences Before/After/On a Recognized Holiday or Scheduled Vacation Day(s)

An employee who is scheduled to work the shift before, the shift after, or on a recognized holiday and fails to do so may forfeit the holiday pay and will receive a double occurrence for the missed shift unless a legitimate reason for the absence is approved in writing by the department head/director.  Also, an unplanned absence for a scheduled shift(s) immediately before or after an approved vacation/personal holiday day(s), will also be subject to a double occurrence.  Double occurrences may be reduced to a single occurrence if medical documentation is provided to substantiate the need for the absence adjacent to the holiday or scheduled vacation shift.

An employee who is denied a requested day off and calls in on that day will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.


Absences that are generally not counted in the absenteeism and tardiness guidelines under this policy include:

  1. Approved absences under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

  2. Pre-approved vacation, personal holidays, scheduled sick time, bereavement leave, jury duty, and miliary leave, or pre-approved absences in accordance with department guidelines.

  3. Hospital confinement, including same day surgery.

  4. Absences due to a work-related injury and approved as an on-the-job (workers' compensation) injury.

  5. Tardies which have been approved by the CEO, AVP, or designee, in writing, for extraordinary circumstances such as weather related emergencies.

  6. Tardies due to malfunctions of ID badge readers/Kronos verified by the department supervisor or Personnel Support Services/Payroll.


An employee, in the initial employment/probationary period, who has two (2) occurrences, may receive a written warning.  If the employee has one or more additional occurrences within the remainder of the initial employment/probationary period or extended initial employment/probationary period, the employee may be subject to termination of employment.  This excludes those employees who are in a probationary period due to a transfer.

If an initial employment/probationary warning is given and the remainder of the initial employment is completed successfully, the employee will be at the written warning step of the disciplinary process at the end of the initial employment/probationary period.