9.13 Attendance and Punctuality
UWHC Administrative Policy Print
December 1, 2014
Personnel (Hospital Administrative)
This policy provides guidelines to University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) managers for monitoring the
attendance and punctuality of employees. Regular attendance is vital at UWHC because of the critical nature of the
needs of our patients and our 24 by 7 operation. The intent is to promote a high level of attendance through a
cooperative relationship between managers and employees. By working with an employee who has a poor
attendance record, a manager may be able to help the employee correct problems related to poor attendance.
Positive feedback from managers is encouraged to instill in the employee the importance of good attendance and
punctuality. This policy also allows a manager, after taking all mitigating and aggravating circumstances into
account, to discipline an employee for violation of this policy and other UWHC work rules relating to attendance,
should such action be required.
This policy applies to all employees of the UWHC and prohibits excessive absenteeism, excessive tardiness and sick
leave abuse. UWHC employment assumes a commitment to regular attendance. Employees are expected to report
for work as scheduled and notify the designated departmental representative in a timely manner whenever they
are unable to do so. Supervisors should provide a copy of this policy to new employees at the time of hire and will
explain to the employees that failing to report to work as scheduled or failing to report on time detracts from the
effectiveness of UWHC operations and adversely affects patient care. Employees are responsible for reading and
adhering to this policy. If an employee does not understand any part of this policy, questions to clarify an
understanding should be addressed to the department manager, supervisor or to an Employee and Labor Relations
Consultant (ELRC) or Human Resources Consultant (HRC) in the Human Resources (HR) Department. This policy
will be applied equitably and in conjunction with UWHC Work Rules. See Hospital Administrative Policy 9.04-Work
Rules: UWHC Authority.
A. Notification of Absence
1. Employees must contact the designated departmental representative within a reasonable time
prior to the start of their work shift to report an unscheduled absence, and if known, state the
probable duration of the absence.
2. Each department will designate the appropriate person(s) to be contacted and will define what is
considered to be reasonable notice for its operational needs. This information will then be
communicated in writing to the employees within the department.
3. During unscheduled absences, an employee will call in each day he/she is absent, unless the
employee's supervisor has instructed otherwise.
4. An employee's failure to comply with notification standards may result in the application of
B. Attendance Record Review
1. It will be the responsibility of each designated departmental representative or the supervisor to
monitor the attendance record of each employee and to determine through a review process
whether excessive absenteeism, excessive tardiness or sick leave abuse exists. A review of an
employee's attendance or punctuality may be initiated periodically, as a result of the employee's
discipline or potential for discipline for non-attendance issues, or if any of the following
a. Three (3) unscheduled absences of any length in any rolling 12 week period, including
absences for reasons of illness or personal business. A new 12- week period begins after
the most recent unscheduled absences for which an employee has been
disciplined. Except for good cause, consecutive unscheduled absences for the same
underlying illness/cause should be treated as a single absence.
b. Any "0" sick leave balance,
c. The use of unscheduled leave under false pretenses,
d. A pattern of unscheduled absence in conjunction with:
i. Scheduled days off,
ii. Legal holidays,
iv. Same days of the week,
e. Unscheduled absences:
i. Immediately following discipline or PDI,
ii. After working a double shift,
iii. After working overtime,
iv. After having a leave request denied,
v. Under any other suspicious circumstance as determined by a department
f. Tardiness on three occasions within a rolling 12 week period. Tardiness is defined as
failing to report promptly, ready to work, at the scheduled starting time of the shift or
taking unauthorized extended rest or meal periods or leaving work before the end of the
g. Any combination of three unscheduled absences or incidents of tardiness, but only when
the employee's disciplinary history demonstrates several prior attempts to correct
excessive attendance and tardiness problems have failed or when the length of an
individual tardy is clearly excessive. Absences and tardies should not be combined in
cases in which an employee does not have a prior history of attendance problems or
when the individual tardies are short in duration.
C. Progressive Discipline
1. Before imposing discipline, as a result of an attendance review, a pre-disciplinary investigatory
(PDI) meeting must be held, and managers must always take into consideration any mitigating
and aggravating circumstances before determining whether excessive absenteeism, excessive
tardiness or any other attendance related work rule violations exist.
2. Discipline is NOT to be automatically applied. Managers will follow the following investigatory
a. The manager shall arrange for a PDI meeting with the employee whose attendance
record reveals possible work rule violations unless the supervisor has advance
knowledge of mitigating circumstances.
b. Managers are encouraged to ask their represented employees, in advance of PDIs,
whether a represented employee desires union representation. However, a manager's
failure to offer union representation will not prevent otherwise just discipline. The
responsibility to request a steward rests with the employee.
c. If at the PDI, a represented employee requests a union representative, one shall be
d. At the PDI, the manager will discuss the employee's attendance and/or tardiness record
with the employee in an attempt to determine the facts related to the attendance record
and whether mitigating or aggravating circumstances exist.
e. The manager should make reasonable attempts, consistent with operational needs, to
work with the employee to resolve whatever circumstances are adversely affecting the
attendance record. However, the primary responsibility to report for work as scheduled
rests with the employee.
f. Managers should inform employees about the existence of the Employee Assistance
Program (EAP) and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) whenever appropriate.
3. If, after completing an employee's first PDI for attendance issues, the manager concludes that
the employee violated this policy and the UWHC's work rules, the manager will either issue a
verbal warning or excuse the work rule violations. Regardless of the outcome, the manager will
also inform the employee about the following:
a. The UWHC's Employee Assistance Program. See Hospital Administrative Policy 9.15-
Employee Assistance Program.
b. The FMLA's allowance for protected leave for serious ongoing health conditions, and
childbirth or adoption. See Hospital Administrative Policy 9.72-Sick, Family and Medical
Leaves of Absence.
c. The UWHC Work Rules related to absences. See Hospital Administrative Policy 9.04-
Work Rules: UWHC Authority.
d. If operationally possible, the manager will also discuss whether a schedule change will
enable an employee to correct his/her attendance problems.
4. If subsequent PDI reveal additional attendance violations, discipline should be applied according
to the following progressive schedule when appropriate:
a. 1st violation - Verbal reprimand
b. 2nd violation - Letter of reprimand
c. 3rd violation - 2 day suspension
d. 4th violation - 5 day suspension
e. 5th violation - Termination
5. The progressive steps listed above should be taken, in the order listed except where the manager
determines that a violation is serious enough to warrant skipping disciplinary steps and imposing
greater discipline, or where the employee's performance and disciplinary history warrant an
expedited disciplinary track. Examples of serious violations include, but are not limited to: no
call/no show and fraudulent use of sick leave. Employees committing serious violations will be
suspended or terminated, absent extreme mitigating circumstances.
6. An employee with an extensive and/or frequent attendance problem may be disciplined for
excessive absenteeism regardless of whether the employee has provided medical excuses
covering particular absences.
a. However, while three absences in a 12-week period may trigger a PDI for attendance
and may be an indicator of excessive absenteeism, such a rate of absenteeism does not
automatically mean that an employee should be disciplined for excessive absenteeism.
b. Before disciplining an employee for excessive absenteeism, the manager should review
the employee's overall attendance record, job performance, prior disciplinary history for
attendance issues, and all other relevant mitigating and aggravating circumstances.
7. Non-represented employees, Authority temporary, and probationary employees are not covered
by progressive discipline, but if possible, supervisors are encouraged to provide warning prior to
disciplining these employees for attendance problems.
8. Absences covered under the FMLA or Worker's Compensation shall not be used as a basis for
discipline nor shall they be used as a basis for adverse scores or comments in a performance
9. Consultation with an ELRC or HRC in the Human Resources Department is required before
suspending or terminating an employee for a violation of this policy or any work rule relating to
This Policy creates no rights, contractual or otherwise. Statements of policy obtained herein are not made for the
purpose of inducing any person to become or remain an employee of UWHC, and should not be considered
"promises" or as granting "property" rights. UWHC may add to, subtract from and/or modify this Policy at any
time. Nothing contained in this Policy impairs the right of a non-represented employee or UWHC to terminate the
employment relationship at-will. For represented employees, who are not at-will employees, this policy does not
supersede, limit nor grant any rights beyond those provided by the applicable collective bargaining agreement.
Hospital Administrative Policy 9.04-Work Rules: UWHC Authority
Hospital Administrative Policy 9.15-Employee Assistance Program
Hospital Administrative Policy 9.40-Leave of Absence, excluding Sick, Family and Medical Leaves
Hospital Administrative Policy 9.72-Sick, Family and Medical Leaves of Absence
Sr. Management Sponsor: VP, Human Resources
Author: Director, Human Resources
Approval Committee: Administrative Policy and Procedure Committee
President & CEO