HANDBOOK HELPER EPISODE 29 ATTENDANCE AND ABSENCE POLICY « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


Attendance and absence policies should of course make clear that turning out as scheduled is expected. The care comes in listing excused or authorized absences, including legally-protected sick leave, pregnancy disability leave, on-the-job injuries or illnesses, and, as of January 1, 2023, permitted “emergency condition” absence under California Labor Code section 1139.  That law protects covered employees for refusing to report to, or leaving, a workplace on a reasonable belief of an unsafe “emergency condition” defined as ● conditions of disaster or extreme peril to the safety of persons or property at the workplace caused by natural forces or a criminal act; or ● an evacuation order due to a natural disaster or a criminal act at the employee’s workplace, home, or child’s school.  However, the new law does not cover a health pandemic.

Policy Drafting Tips:

  • Define authorized and unauthorized work absences;
  • Incorporate a no call/no show “voluntary quit” policy;
  • Include procedures for notifying the company of health-related absences;
  • Consider including a severe weather contingency procedure; and
  • Include a Labor Code 1139 “emergency condition” provision.


Implement and regularly review your handbook to include an attendance and absence from work policy.

We publish this series to educate employers on best practices for a well-written handbook that assists applicants, employees, and management alike. To purchase our 2023 template handbook – which contains the above policy and much more – and accompanying forms or for more information, please contact Office Manager Aimee Rosales at 626.583.6600 or email her at officemgr@tbowleslaw.com.

See also:

Cindy Bamforth
June 22, 2023

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