HANDBOOK HELPER EPISODE 30 TARDINESS POLICY « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


Tardiness is any time an employee arrives late to work or is not ready to work at the start of a scheduled shift.

Unexcused or excessive tardiness can often lead to disciplinary action. However, employers must administer tardiness standards in a uniform, nondiscriminatory manner.  No-fault attendance policies, such as automatic discipline for five or more lateness in a three-month period should never include legally protected reasons, e.g., reasonable disability accommodations, mandatory paid sick leave, pregnancy disability leave, jury duty, or Labor Code 1139 “emergency conditions.”

Policy Drafting Tips:

  • Define tardiness;
  • Include disciplinary repercussions for ongoing tardiness;
  • Carve out protected reasons for arriving late to one’s shift; and
  • Instruct employees to notify the company if they need to take or did take legally protected time off.


Implement and regularly review your handbook to include a tardiness 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 29, 2023

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