/cdklawyers.com/Keith Clouse Dallas Texas employment law attorney/ 07/13/2009
Chronic tardiness should be inexcusable in this economic environment; however, many employees report to work a “few” minutes late almost every day. While some small businesses may be tempted to ignore this problem, chronic tardiness can lead to lowered productivity and reduced morale among on-time workers; an employee who reports for work just ten minutes late each day will have missed an entire week’s worth of work by a year.
Keith Clouse, a Dallas employment lawyer, suggests employers consider the following steps to curtail chronic tardiness.
1. Set a clear policy addressing tardiness. Ensure that all employees understand this policy and that all managers understand how to enforce it. Valid reasons for tardiness do exist (such as poor weather conditions or traffic accidents), so be mindful of assessing a penalty for an employee’s first violation.
2. Encourage punctuality. Start meetings promptly and do not backtrack to fill in late-comers.
3. Document all instances of tardiness. Doing so provides evidence if an employee challenges an employer’s decision to discipline the employee for tardiness.
4. Be consistent. An employer must ensure that its policies are applied consistently and fairly. Failure to do so could lead to low morale or, worse, to discrimination claims.
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