Attendance Policies

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Attendance Policies

My employer has a point-based system for attendance. It means for an absent day an employee incurs 1 point, 0.5 for half a day arriving late or leaving early, and 0.25 point for less than 2 hours. When I started working two years ago, it went up to 14 points. A year ago, it was reduced to 10 points. It was set up for it to be 1-6 was no action to employees. 7 was a verbal warning. 8 was a written warning. 9 was a final warning. 10 was termination. As of today, it will go down to 7 points instead of 10. Meaning, 1-3 no action to employees; 4 verbal warning; 5 written warning; 6 final warning; 7 is termination. I have currently incured 6.25 points. With the new system that puts me into a final warning. I have not been given it yet but I just want to be prepared and ask if this is legal since an employee gets hired today. They have 10 absences that they could use if needed. What if tomorrow they out of nowhere change it to 2? Shouldn’t it be that if a new attendance policy goes into place, they should start anew with 0 points? It does not seem fair.

Asked on October 31, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It may not be fair but it is legal. There is NO law on attendence policies; it is up to the employer's free choice or discretion. If you do not have a written employment contract protecting or guarantying your job, you are an "employee at will"; an employee at will may be terminated at any time, for any reason, includng even a single absence. There is thus no protection for you in regards to your attendence--your employer may do whatever it likes, and is NOT obligated to treat employees fairly or equally.

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