Josie has asked for the weekend off to go to her family reunion.
Kim asked for the following weekend off to participate in a karate competition.
Both are good employees, but you know Josie better. Her daughter babysits for your kids, and you’ve gone out with her and her husband for dinner a few times. No one is supposed to take leave this month because it’s the busy season, but you say yes to Josie. Family is important. You say no to Kim.
It’s your right as a manager to make choices about excused or unexcused employee absences, right?
Or maybe not.
Here are some ways to make informed attendance management decisions before getting bombarded with employee requests.
Consider Consistency in Employee Attendance and Leave
It’s your decision if your company attendance policy company attendance policy does not require a particular type of employee absence, law or standard. You generally have discretion to grant or deny an employee’s request.
But, it’s important to be consistent and objective. As a manager or business owner, it’s essential that you avoid special treatment for certain employees, as others may interpret this as discriminatory. That can destroy morale or even lead to a lawsuit.
Beware of Discrimination and Favoritism
Decisions concerning employee vacation scheduling or other types of approved employee absences are one area where different rules for different people could land your company in legal hot water. Favoritism in employee leave decisions can also lead to fines for violation of some federal or state laws. These laws require equal treatment for employees of different ages, genders, nationalities, languages, disabilities or religions.
Think About Your Reason For Saying Yes — or No
If you decide to allow or deny an employee absence for reasons not covered by company policy, make sure to talk to your employee about why the decision was made. Tell everyone what procedure they need to follow during the leave, after the leave, or to request time off in the future.
Recognize What’s In The Best Interest of Your Business
Before you say yes or no, stop and check your own reasons. If attendance policies are being approved or disapproved based on friendship or other unofficial standards, it’s only a matter of time until a friendly choice leads to a very unfriendly result.