Attendance - HR Policy 619

Attendance - HR Policy 619

This policy addresses attendance requirements for hospital employees and the steps of corrective action for policy violations.
Effective Date:
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Policy 619 – Attendance  

Date Issued: 11/91
Date Revised: 08/11  

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.  

University Hospital employees, working together as a team, provide a much-needed service to our community, patients, physicians, visitors, and staff. Employee absence and tardiness diminishes the level of quality of this service and can cause undue hardship on co-workers. University Hospital must be able to depend on regular and consistent attendance of all its employees.

In order to maintain a fair and reasonable work environment and in recognition of the important contributions of each member of the UAB University Hospital team, it is imperative that this attendance policy be applied equitably and consistently to applicable employees.   

Failure to give advance notice of an absence according to division guidelines up to twelve (12) hours, failure to properly badge in or out, and/or tardiness will be managed according to this policy.

An employee may be terminated without proceeding through each step as outlined in this policy once a written warning has occurred and he/she has received at least two written warnings for other policy infractions during the same eighteen (18) month period.

University Hospital administers its Attendance Policy in compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  University Hospital must reserve the right to: (1) Authorize or refuse to authorize an employee’s request for permission to be absent, (2) investigate absences; management may require additional documentation and/or referral from Employee Health to support an absence, (3) determine whether an absence is necessary or justifiable, (4) deny pay for an absence in violation of this policy.


Absence – Any time from work for more than one (1) hour after the start of the shift for one or more consecutively scheduled workdays for the same incident/illness in which the employee failed to give advance notice (as defined by department leadership) and/or failed to receive approval from his/her manager. If an employee departs the workplace more than an hour before the end of the shift or arrives to the workplace more than an hour after the beginning of the shift without prior supervisor approval, it will be considered an absence. 

Failure to badge “in” or “out”/Misbadges – Any time an employee fails to run his/her Hospital issued identification badge through the assigned Kronos reader and properly record time in or out. For instance, if an employee fails to badge in at the beginning of his shift, he or she will be assigned a missed badge for the day, regardless of whether he or she was able to badge out at the end of the shift.   

Tardy – Employees will be considered tardy if they arrive to their designated workplace later than five (5) minutes after the beginning of the shift.  Tardiness of greater than one (1) hour will be considered an absence with regards to the Attendance Policy unless prior approval has been granted and deemed appropriate by department leadership in advance. 

Scheduled workday – Any time that an employee is scheduled to work, including voluntary and mandated overtime.  

Progressive Discipline for Attendance Policy – Defined as
(1)  Documented Oral Warning
(2)  1st Written Warning
(3)  2nd Written Warning
(4) Termination


Absence – An employee who has accumulated four (4) or more absences in a six (6) month rolling time period will be subject to progressive discipline up to and including discharge.  When an employee is absent due to illness a physician’s statement may be necessary.  An employee who is scheduled to work the day before or after a holiday or on the holiday  and fails to do so will forfeit holiday pay unless a legitimate reason for absence is approved in writing by the department/unit head.  A physician’s certification and/or employee health referral may be required for such absences to be paid.  One or more consecutive work days missed for the same incident/illness will be treated as one absence, although physician documentation may be required by the department. 

Failure to badge “in” or “out”/Misbadges and Tardiness - An employee who has accumulated six (6) or more instances of tardiness or misbadges in a six (6) month rolling time period will be subject to progressive discipline up to and including discharge.   An employee who realizes he or she will be tardy should notify his or her supervisor as soon as possible and give an accurate expected time of arrival.  Unauthorized use of unassigned Kronos reader may result in corrective action. Employees who misplace or damage their identification badge must report the loss/damage to their supervisor immediately.  Misbadges and tardiness will be tallied together. 

No-call, No-show – If an employee fails to call-in or report to work, this is considered a “no-call no show” (unscheduled absences without managerial notification).  The first “no-call, no-show” will result in a written warning, and subsequent instances of “no-call, no-show” may result in termination.  Employees who have three consecutive days of “no-call, no-show” will be immediately terminated for being Absent Without Leave (AWOL). 

Ramping – An employee who badges-in and does not directly report to his or her work area will be subject to disciplinary action according to the policy regarding Falsification of UAB Records and Documents (i.e., payroll documentation). For example, an employee who badges-in and subsequently parks his car before reporting to his work area will be immediately subject to disciplinary action.  The first instance of ramping will result in a written warning, and subsequent instances of ramping may result in termination.

Once an employee reaches the level of a documented oral warning in a single category (i.e. absence, misbadges and tardiness), and maintains that level, any future instances in either category may be treated as a continuation of the progressive disciplinary process. If at any time an employee’s absences and/or misbadges and tardy instances fall below the required levels of 4 and 6 respectively, any future instances will restart the process of progressive discipline with a documented oral warning once the required levels are again reached.

Employees who receive four (4) written warnings for attendance only in a twelve (12) month period may be subject to termination without proceeding through the remaining steps of the attendance policy.   

Absences, tardiness, and failures to badge in and out will be reviewed over a consecutive, rolling, six (6) month period. Each absence, tardy, or misbadge will be on record for six (6) months after the absence, tardy, or misbadge. On the six-month anniversary, the absence, tardy, or misbadge will expire.

Hospital departments must develop policies and procedures for the method of timely reporting absences/tardiness. These policies and associated reports must be periodically reviewed with employees, and placed on file in Hospital Human Resources. 

Hospital departments will be responsible for reviewing absences, tardiness, and misbadges on a continuous basis with the employee.  When the total number of absences, tardiness, and/or misbadges become excessive (as previously defined), the appropriate disciplinary action should be administered by the end of the following pay period.  Should an employee be absent during this time period, sessions the disciplinary action will be administered as soon as the employee returns to work. All counseling levels (e.g. documented oral warning, written warnings) must be given prior to termination.

The following exceptions are not counted as absenteeism/tardiness under this policy:

Approved Leaves of Absence per UAB policy.

  • Pre-approved: scheduled vacation, scheduled personal holidays, scheduled sick leave, bereavement leave, jury duty, and military leave.
  • Hospital confinement, including day surgery (exclusive of the Emergency department except when approved by the employee’s manager).
  • Absence due to work-related injury/approved on-the-job injury.
  • Absences pre-approved in writing by Manager/Supervisor according to department guidelines. Absences related to any FMLA qualifying condition with proper documentation.
    • The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) explicitly asserts that an employee cannot be penalized and/or disciplined under a “No Fault” attendance policy for absences which qualify under the FMLA. Under the FMLA, a “serious health condition” is defined as one which requires either inpatient care or continuing treatment by a health care provider. Employees who wish to have their absences excused due to being a FMLA qualifying condition should submit documentation from a physician to substantiate the reason for the absence. (Refer to UAB Leave of Absence Policy).
  • Tardiness approved by the CEO, AVP, or designee in writing, for extraordinary circumstances such as weather related emergencies.
  • Tardiness due to malfunctions of identification badges or badge readers verified by the department supervisor and/or Personnel Support Services.

The Department Manager/Designee is responsible for the accuracy of each employee’s attendance record. Records should be updated at least on a bi-weekly basis.

The first six calendar months of employment of all employees, both exempt and non-exempt, are considered an initial period of review.  During the initial six months of employment at UAB Hospital an employee’s performance, attendance and adherence to UAB Hospital policies and procedures will be closely monitored.  The employee will be counseled and receive disciplinary action when necessary as an ongoing part of this new employment period.  The employee’s supervisor will have the opportunity during the initial six months period of review to determine the employee’s suitability for the position for which he or she is employed.  If the employee’s performance or attendance is not satisfactory, his or her employment may be terminated at any time during the initial six months period of review. 

Transfers – An employee who has reached the level of 2nd Written Warning will not be allowed to transfer.  Any exception must be approved by the appropriate AVP.

Prior to terminating an employee under this policy, the employee’s manager or supervisor should contact the HR Consultant assigned to his or her area or HR Relations.