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To maintain a safe and productive work environment that is respectful of all employees, the College expects employees to be reliable and punctual in reporting for scheduled work. Absenteeism and tardiness place an unnecessary burden on other employees, supervisors and the College. Good attendance and punctuality are expected of all employees. Employees should be present and prepared to work at the start of their shift as designated by their department and supervisor. Excessive absenteeism or tardiness will not be tolerated and will be cause for corrective action up to and including termination. During the new employee orientation period, the supervisor should clearly communicate the department's expectations for attendance and punctuality.

Notification of Supervisor

There are times when absences and tardiness cannot be avoided. In such instances the employee is expected to notify the supervisor as soon as and as well in advance of the anticipated tardiness or absence as possible. Departments may establish specific call-in requirements that are based on operational needs. Lack of a telephone or absence from town is not an excuse for failing to notify the supervisor of absence or tardiness. Employees should call in every day they are absent unless on an approved Leave of Absence. Failure to report to work or reporting late to work without contacting the department will result in corrective action. Failure to notify the supervisor will result in corrective action. Should the employee be unable to call-in personally, a family member or medical professional may call in on their behalf. Failure to report to work for two (2) consecutive scheduled workdays without contacting the department is a serious matter, considered job abandonment and will result in termination of employment.

Excused Absences and Tardiness

Excused Absence occurs when four conditions are met: 1) the employee provides sufficient notice to the supervisor, 2) the reason is found credible or acceptable by the supervisor 3) the request is approved by the supervisor 4) the employee has sufficient accrued annual leave to cover the absence or tardy, or unpaid time has been expressly approved. The following instances are examples of excused paid and unpaid absences that are NOT counted as absence or tardy occurrences:

  • College provided paid and unpaid time off for a variety of purposes including, vacation days, absences due to work-related injury, physician appointments (when approved in advance by the supervisor), illness, funeral leave, jury duty, military leave, FMLA leaves, lack of work, subpoenas or any other absence expressly authorized by the College, the terms of Bethel policy, or the law.
  • In recognizing that factors outside the individual’s control sometimes impact the commute to work, the college allows for a six minute cushion in reporting for work. Therefore, an employee shall only be considered tardy if they clock in or report for work more than six minutes after the start time of their scheduled work hours, but shall be expected to make up that time.
  • A bona fide, verifiable emergency.
  • Off work due to adverse weather conditions resulting in the closing of the College, or instances where severe weather conditions prevent individuals from commuting. Individuals who are designated as being critical to the operations of the college during severe weather conditions may be required to make every effort to report to work.
  • Employees who have three consecutive days of absence because of illness or injury may be asked to provide proof of physician’s care in order for the absence to be excused. If illness or injury prevents the employee from fully assuming their regularly scheduled duties, a physician’s statement must be provided verifying the nature of the illness or injury, when the employee may be able to return to work, or fully assume their duties (as applicable) and what duties the employee is capable of performing. Failure to provide medical documentation of illness, injury or restricted duty may be subject to immediate termination.

In all cases of absence or tardiness, employees must provide their supervisor with an honest reason or explanation. Documentation of the reason may be required. Employees also must inform their supervisor of the expected duration of any absence.

Excessive Absence Policy for Staff

Generally, without the express approval of the supervisor, any unpaid work hours and absences which do not meet the criteria of an Excused Absence and that has not been expressly approved by the supervisor shall be considered excessive.  Six or more occurrences of tardiness or absence during a rolling 12-month period constitute grounds for Corrective Action Procedures.

Definition of Occurrence

  • The first three instances of tardiness combined equal one occurrence. Each subsequent
    instance of tardiness counts as a single occurrence.
  • One full day or portion of a day of absence, including leaving early, counts as one occurrence for any reason not excused above or by the supervisor.
  • Absence for any reason not excused above with proper call-in counts as one occurrence.
  • Failure to call-in any absence or tardiness counts as one occurrence.
Excessive Absence Policy for Supervisors, Managers and Administrators

The determination of excessive absence is made by their department in consultation with Human Resources.  Each case of excessive absenteeism and tardiness will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Consideration is given to exempt personnel schedules which often fluctuate with position demands and do not afford additional pay for hours worked in excess of a 40-hour week.  Exempt personnel are expected to be accessible and available whether on a day-to-day basis or in special circumstances and should report anticipated absences to their supervisor in advance.  Excessive absence by supervisor, manager or administrator is addressed through the Human Resources Department which may result in Corrective Action Procedures.

Corrective Action Procedures for Attendance and Punctuality

Notice of six accumulated occurrences, verbal notification and a coaching session will be scheduled to make the employee aware of the situation and to be certain the employee understands this policy and the consequences of violation (the notice and session will be documented in the employee’s file), written warning for any additional violation within six months, final written warning for any additional violation, and termination of employment.


Employee is late on one occasion by 30 minutes and fails to give proper supervisor notification, leaves work early on 2 other occasions, and has 2 unexcused absences.

1 (unexcused tardy) + 1 (improper notice) + 2 (unexcused early leaves) + 2 (unexcused absences) = 6 accumulated occurrences = Written Notice and Coaching and Counseling Session.

Progressive Discipline for Attendance and Punctuality

6 Accumulated OccurrencesVerbal Notification & Coaching and Counseling Session
Any additional violation within 6 monthsWritten warning
Next violationFinal written warning
Next violationTermination
Reporting Absences

The reporting of variations from standard work schedules is necessary for maintaining accurate and timely records of employee sick and vacation banks and to ensure that employees are paid appropriately for work performed.  Failure to turn in a Time Card, Leave Report, or to punch in and out, as applicable, may result in Corrective Action Procedures. Leave Report procedures vary slightly by group as follows: 

Exempt Employees

Records of sick and vacation time for exempt employees are maintained by the Payroll department.  Both paid and unpaid absences are reported on a Leave Report.  Guidance on the appropriate reporting method may be obtained from Payroll Services. 


Paid and unpaid absences for non-exempt employees should be reported to the Payroll Office on a Leave Report form by Tuesday of the week following the absence.