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Deal With Employees Who Are Always Late

There’s one in every office: the employee who strolls in late almost every day. And if you don’t address the issue, employees will start to resent their tardy coworker -- and you for doing nothing.

The first step to correcting the tardiness issue is to figure out why an employee is consistently late, according to’s article titled "Tips For Dealing With Frequent Tardiness."

If an employee is late because of a medical reason, such as depression, chronic fatigue or some disability, you should discuss the employee’s parameters with his doctor, says Ask the doctor for written documentation of any restrictions the employee should have, such as the number of hours worked per day, daily start times, etc. Then, sit down with the employee and come up with a plan that fits in with his medical needs. If he continues to violate your agreed-upon schedule, you may need to take disciplinary action, according to the article.

But if an employee is chronically late for some other reason, such as a daycare conflict or a personal issue, you should meet with the employee and come up with alternatives. For example: You might offer to let an employee telecommute for a few hours in the morning to accommodate a child care schedule. Or, the employee might need to change his status to a part-time contractor. Whatever the solution, you should give the employee options so that he can get to work on time.

Be firm: Whether you’re negotiating a new schedule or accommodating medical needs, you must stay firm with your employee. State clearly that he must follow policies just like every other employee. This means that if the employee continues to arrive late to work, he’ll face disciplinary action. You must also be consistent. Don’t enforce punctuality with one employee and let other employees get away with the same behavior.

Important: You must document your tardy employee’s attendence issues and any meetings or performance reviews in which you address the employee’s tardiness. If the situation leads to disciplinary action, you need to have documentation of the employee’s work habits and show that you have given warnings and negotiated possible solutions..


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