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PS-02.B.16 - Staff Attendance and Punctuality Policy

EFFECTIVE DATE: June 26, 2019

ISSUE #: 1

PRESIDENT:  Juan Sánchez Muñoz

​PURPOSE 

Staff employees are responsible for maintaining regular attendance and punctuality in order to perform the duties and responsibilities of their positions productively and efficiently, with minimal disruption to the work schedules of their respective work groups or inconvenience constituents with whom they interact. Timely and regular attendance is an expectation of performance for all UHD employees. This policy statement describes the attendance and punctuality standards expected of staff employees. 

DEFINITIONS 

2.1 Absence: Failure of an employee to report for work when he/she is scheduled to work. The absence may be scheduled or unscheduled. 

2.2 Scheduled Absence: An absence that occurs when the employee provides to his or her supervisor sufficient notice of absence in advance, and the absence request is approved in advance by the supervisor. 

2.3 Unscheduled Absence: An absence where the employee does not provide to his or her supervisor sufficient notice of absence and the supervisor is not able to approve in advance the employee leave request. Unscheduled absences may result from a full workday absence, partial workday absence, an early departure or a tardy or late arrival. 

2.4 Tardiness: When an employee is late to work, late returning from a lunch break or late returning from any other work absence. 

2.5 Early Departure: An employee leaves work prior to the end of his/her scheduled work departure time. 

2.6 Occurrence: A documented record of unscheduled absence by a staff employee. 

2.7 Working Hours: For the purpose of this policy and for determining absences, working hours is defined in UHD Policy Statement PS 02.A.01, Policy on Working Hours

POLICY 

3.1 The University of Houston-Downtown encourages good attendance habits and punctuality on the part of its employees to carry out its academic, student, and business support activities. 

3.2 Staff employees must arrive and be prepared to commence work at their scheduled start time. Employees are responsible for notifying their supervisor in advance of absences, late arrivals, or early departures. 

3.3 All employees are required to call their supervisors by no later than one hour following the scheduled starting time to report absence. If the employee is unable to reach the supervisor directly, the employee is required to report to someone within the department and then make personal contact with the supervisor as soon as reasonably possible. 

3.4 Guidelines for requesting leave are outlined in the following UHD and University of Houston System policies: 

3.4.1 PS 02.A.09 Miscellaneous Leave Policy

3.4.2 PS 02.A.11 Family and Medical Leave Policy

3.4.3 PS 02.A.13 Leave Without Pay Policy

3.4.4 SAM 02.D.01 Vacation and Sick Leave​

3.4.5 SAM 02.D.02 Sick Leave Pool 

3.5 Supervisors are expected to communicate compliance requirements to their employees about UHD and UH System policies on attendance, hours of work, leaves of absence, and procedures for scheduled and unscheduled absences. 

3.6 An unscheduled absence of four (4) hours or more on a scheduled workday counts as one occurrence for the purpose of discipline under this policy. 

3.7 An unscheduled absence of less than four (4) hours counts as one-half (1/2) occurrence. Two unscheduled absences of less than four (4) hours each on different scheduled workdays count as one occurrence for the purpose of discipline under this policy. 

3.8 Unscheduled absences totaling three (3) occurrences during 30 consecutive workdays may result in disciplinary action. 

3.9 Unscheduled absences totaling eight (8) occurrences during a 12-month period may result in disciplinary action. 

3.10 Guidelines for disciplinary action based on excessive unscheduled absences are outlined in PS 02.B.03, Discipline and Dismissal of Regular Staff Employees Policy

PROCEDURES

4.1 All supervisors must communicate to their staff the importance of timely and regular attendance, requesting leave in advance, and adhering to their assigned work schedule. Attendance policies should be discussed:

4.1.1 Periodically at staff meetings 

4.1.2 In one-on-one meetings with staff 

4.1.3 Whenever there is a policy or procedural change 

4.2 To ensure staff understand what is expected of them, supervisors should develop and distribute written instructions outlining departmental procedures on absences, tardiness, and requesting leave. 

Written instructions should be: 

4.2.1 Discussed periodically at staff meetings 

4.2.2 Included in the departmental procedures manual 

4.2.3 Given to newly hired department staff 

4.2.4 Posted in a visible area in the department, such as break or work rooms. 

For guidance in developing written instructions, please refer to PS 02.A.01, Policy on Working Hours. Individual unit supervisors may develop additional expectations in order to best suit the needs of that particular unit, but they may not be in conflict with the spirit of this policy or with PS 02.A.01. 

4.3 Supervisors are responsible for monitoring the attendance of their employees and keeping accurate records and documentation. They are expected to determine if the following conditions, or similar ones, exist for the employee. 

4.3.1 Pattern of absence, such as every Friday or Monday 

4.3.2 Constant tardiness or early departures 

4.3.3 Failure to submit leave requests in advance of leave 

4.3.4 Call in on a day when a submitted leave request was denied 

4.4 It is the responsibility of the employee to comply with procedures established by his/her department as well as statements referenced in this policy. Failure to comply with departmental procedures on absences, tardiness, requesting leave and/or abusing the University attendance and punctuality policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. 

4.4.1 Unscheduled absences totaling three (3) occurrences during 30 consecutive workdays may result in disciplinary action

4.4.2 Unscheduled absences totaling eight (8) occurrences during a 12-month period may result in disciplinary action. 

4.4.3 An employee who leaves work without authorization or who fails to report to work and notify their supervisor for more than three continuous work days may be considered to have abandoned the job. 

4.5 Supervisors are responsible for developing procedures to accurately track and document occurrences of unscheduled absences. Procedures must be approved by the department head. 

4.5.1 When an employee starts having attendance and/or punctuality issues, his/her supervisor is expected to counsel the employee on the need for improvement This involves a discussion between the supervisor and employee regarding unsatisfactory attendance, punctuality and/or timely submission of leave requests. This discussion must be documented by the supervisor on a Notice of Verbal Counseling (“Notice”). The Notice will serve as a written record of the counseling and will provide the employee with a reminder of the remedial course of action expected. 

4.5.2 If there is an occurrence of unscheduled absence during the 30 days following counseling, the supervisor should discuss the situation with Employment Services and Operations (ESO) and seek approval to begin disciplinary action under PS 02.B.03, Discipline and Dismissal of Regular Staff Employees Policy

REVIEW PROCESS

Responsible Party (Reviewer): Vice President for Employment Services and Operations

Review: Every three years on or before August 1. 

Signed original on file in Employment Services and Operations.

POLICY HISTORY

No prior issues of this policy. 

REFERENCES

PS 02.A.01 Policy on Working Hours

PS 02.A.09 Miscellaneous Leave Policy

PS 02.A.11 Family and Medical Leave Policy

PS 02.A.13 Leave Without Pay Policy

SAM 02.D.01 Vacation and Sick Leave

SAM 02.D.02 Sick Leave Pool

SAM 02.A.40 Staff Attendance and Punctuality

PS 02.B.03 Discipline and Dismissal of Regular Staff Employees Policy​​

Last updated 3/14/2022 2:24 PM