Attendance point systems are still prevalent at many/most manufacturing facilities. These systems are meant to simplify the attendance/discipline process. They are often billed as “no-fault” systems (i.e., they do not distinguish reasons for absence/tardiness), and they have clear milestones (i.e., accumulation of a specified point total leads to warnings, suspensions, termination). The perceived benefits are twofold:
- They provide “blind fairness” because they eliminate more subjective attendance factors.
- They are easy to implement and administer.
However, the EEOC has now filed suit against manufacturing companies that use attendance point systems, as the companies “did not excuse disability-related absences,” and as a result, are in violation of the ADA. Stay tuned for the court rulings in this litigation.
Business Takeaway: To begin, if you use a point-based attendance system, have you identified circumstances (e.g., those relating to ADA issues and accommodations) that qualify as exceptions to incurring a point? Should the litigation be successful, it will have exposed a significant flaw in a longstanding model—the blindness once perceived to be a neutral force. Contact Adam at email@example.com if you are interested in revising your attendance policies and procedures.