Attendance and Absences

Title: Attendance and Absences
Approved by
Date Approved
Effective Date: 06/03/2019
Responsible Official: Vice President of Human Resources
Responsible University Office: HR Employee Relations
Revision History: 01/01/2002; 01/01/2008
Related Legislation and University policies: Positive Corrective Action (PCA) Policy
Review Period: 5 years
Date of Last Review
Relates to: senior staff and staff
Exclusions: executive staff

Policy Statement

Punctuality and regular attendance are essential to ensure optimal productivity and customer service. In order for the university to achieve these goals, employees are required to maintain a satisfactory record of attendance. 

To meet operational needs and commitments, management centers and/or departments can establish attendance policies different than the university’s policy, but must consult with Employee Relations when drafting their policy. All staff should sign a copy acknowledging the department’s specific attendance policy if different from university policy. 

The university’s Absences and Attendance Policy and Procedure will apply for departments and/or management centers that do not establish a procedure. Supervisors are responsible for communicating the attendance policy to staff and for fair and consistent application of the policy.

Attendance Policy

Regular attendance is of vital importance to the successful performance of employees’ jobs. Each absence unfairly burdens employees’ co-workers and supervisor(s). Therefore, all employees are expected to report to work on time every day they are scheduled to work and to maintain a satisfactory record of attendance.

If an employee is unable to report to work they are required to notify their supervisor at least thirty (30) minutes prior to their start time. Nonexempt employees who are delayed in reporting to work more than thirty (30) minutes and who have not notified their supervisor of their expected tardiness may lose their right to work the balance of the work day.

Recording Time Worked

The university must comply with applicable federal and state laws that require records to be maintained of all hours worked by employees. To ensure accurate records are kept of the hours an employee works (including overtime hours where applicable), the accrued sick and vacation time an employee has taken, and the amount of unscheduled time off an employee has taken, employees and their department are required to maintain accurate time and attendance records by accurately recording all hours worked in the Human Capital Management (HCM) Time Entry System. This will help ensure employees are properly paid in a timely manner. 

The employee is responsible for ensuring their actual hours worked and absences taken (sick, vacation and/or other unscheduled time off) are recorded accurately. Time entry should be completed by the employee on a weekly basis, but not later than the pay closing date for the exempt (monthly employees) and/or non-exempt (semi-monthly) employee. An employee’s failure to accurately complete their time entry in HCM by the closing date is considered a violation of this policy as well as the university’s Positive Corrective Action (PCA) Policy, and may be subject to corrective action. Falsifying recorded time is an act of misconduct and is subject to corrective action, up to and including termination.

Supervisors (or department designees) are responsible for reviewing employees’ time records and resolving any discrepancies. After reviewing and resolving any discrepancies, the supervisor (or department designee) will approve the employee’s time and attendance in the HCM Time Entry System approval process. Time entries must be approved by supervisors on a regular basis, no later than the pay closing date. A supervisor’s failure to approve employees’ time entries in HCM by the closing date is considered a violation of this policy and of the university’s Positive Corrective Action (PCA) Policy and may be subject to corrective action.

If an employee and their supervisor (or department designee) realizes they have not recorded a vacation or sick day in HCM and the month has already downloaded, they must immediately contact the Payroll Department at to to submit an Individual Pay Adjustment.

Pre-Scheduled Time Off

Pre-scheduled sick time for doctor appointments must be approved in advance by the supervisor, at least twenty-four (24) hours beforehand. Use of paid sick time will be permitted if available and is subject to limits set forth in the Sick Pay policy. However, departments have the right to limit employees to one (1) pre-scheduled sick day per week for routine doctor’s appointments, excluding appointments approved pursuant to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Absences and Leave Policy.

Vacation days must be taken in half or whole day increments, and must be approved in advance by the supervisor. In order for the time to be considered “pre-scheduled”, it must be submitted and approved at least twenty-four (24) hours beforehand.

Unscheduled Time Off

Unscheduled time off is an occurrence under the university’s attendance policy. Types of occurrences include:

Unscheduled Absence Any absence and/or tardiness that was not pre-scheduled approved time off (e.g. an absence not requested and approved at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance).

An employee is tardy if they arrive to work any time after the scheduled start time. However, an employee will be given a five (5) minute grace period before the tardiness will count as an occurrence under the attendance policy. Therefore, for purposes of an occurrence under the attendance policy, tardiness is more than five (5) minutes late to work but less than two (2) hours late to work. Leaving early for lunch, returning late from lunch, or leaving prior to the end of the scheduled work day without supervisor approval will also constitute tardiness. Nonexempt employees will not receive compensation for time missed because of tardiness or early departure.

For purposes of recording time, employees should round to the nearest quarter hour, following the seven (7) minute rule. Employee who work seven (7) minutes or less should round down to the nearest quarter hour; employees who work eight (8) minutes or more should round up to the nearest quarter hour.

The seven (7) minute rule does not impact whether an employee is tardy pursuant to the Absences and Attendance Policy, which sets the grace period at five (5) minutes.

Late Report Failure to notify supervisor when unable to report to work at least thirty (30) minutes prior to start time.
Partial Absence Missing two (2) or more hours of a work day but less than 50% of a work day, including tardiness or early departure, or time away from assigned work location.
Full Absence Missing 50% or more of a scheduled workday.
Unreported Absence Failure to notify supervisor of partial or full absence (i.e., no-call, no-show").
Patterned Absences A pattern of unscheduled absences before or after weekends on a recurring basis, or repeated unscheduled absences the day before or the day after a holiday or vacation day.
Excessive Absenteeism Repeated occurrences (more than six (6) in six (6) months) of unscheduled absence(s) and/or tardiness unrelated to approved time off.


  • Three (3) incidents of tardiness or late report equals one (1) occurrence
  • Two (2) incidents of partial absence equals one (1) occurrence
  • One (1) to five (5) consecutive days of unscheduled absence equals one (1) occurrence

An unreported absence (i.e. “no-call, no-show”) will be one (1) additional occurrence for each day in addition to the unscheduled absence occurrence (i.e. a total of two (2) occurrences). An unreported absence will be coded as unpaid. 

An employee can retroactively be paid for the absence in one of two ways: the employee can apply accrued vacation, or the employee can submit FMLA or comparable medical documentation to apply sick pay. Regardless of whether the employee is paid for the unreported absence, the employee will still receive the attendance occurrences, unless it was an FMLA absences and the employee was unable to follow the university’s call- off procedures.

Any unscheduled absence on a day the employee initially requested off and was denied (vacation or sick) will be one (1) additional occurrence for each day of unscheduled absence, in addition to the unscheduled absence occurrence (i.e. a total of two (2) occurrences). Employees may also receive positive corrective action for insubordination.

A patterned absence will be one (1) additional occurrence in addition to the unscheduled absence occurrence (i.e. a total of two (2) occurrences). Supervisors must confirm with Employee Relations prior to determining that any absence is a patterned absence.

While we recognize that employees get sick from time to time, any excessive absenteeism will be addressed under the university’s Positive Corrective Action Policy. As defined above, excessive absenteeism is more than six (6) occurrences in six (6) months of unscheduled absence(s) and/or tardiness.

If an employee has incurred more than six (6) occurrences in six (6) months, the employee will first receive a written warning. If, after receiving the written warning, the employee engages in another unscheduled absence within the next three (3) years, the employee will receive a five (5) day unpaid suspension. If, after receiving the five (5) day unpaid suspension, the employee engages in another unscheduled absence within three (3) years from the initial written warning, the employee will be terminated. Employees who are terminated for attendance are not eligible for re-hire for five (5) years.

Employees who fail to call in and fail to report to work for three (3) consecutive days without notice (“no-call, no-show”) will be deemed to have abandoned their position. Employees will be terminated, and the employee is not eligible for rehire.

If an employee reports off work for more than three (3) consecutive calendar days for personal or family medical reasons requiring continuing treatment or misses work due to overnight inpatient care, such absences may be covered by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Employees should contact the Human Resources Department by email at, by phone at 216-368-6964, or in person by visiting the HR Service Center located in Crawford Hall, Room 320 for guidance and to determine if the absence(s) qualifies as FMLA leave pursuant to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Absences and Leave Policy.

Employees absent five (5) consecutive days or more with an unscheduled absence due to personal or family sickness/medical reasons must provide a Return to Work Release from their doctor before being permitted to return to work. 

Absences due to approved leave under the FMLA and/or other approved leave(s) including bereavement, convenience leave, personal leave, jury duty, and military leave, or under the Americans with Disabilities Act, will not be included when considering any employee’s attendance record and will not be considered an occurrence. 

Management is aware there may be times when there are extenuating circumstances, which may not permit an employee to follow the attendance policy. However, employees should notify management before their attendance occurrences are considered excessive. If an employee is not comfortable discussing the circumstances with management, or would like them to remain confidential, they should consult Employee Relations at or 216-368-6964.