What to Do If Your Employees Suffer from Continual Fridayitus or Monday Flu?

September 25th, 2019
Human Resources, Payroll Management

By:  Laurey West, SHRM-CP

Director of Operations

Do you have employees who repeatedly call in sick on Friday or Monday?  HR Managers often refer to this as Fridayitus or the Monday flu as employees who have repeated absences on these days may be trying to extend the weekend.   I often have clients call me asking what can be done to curb this from happening as this impacts their production and causes other staff members to have to pick up the slack and can cause poor morale problems.

It is important to have your policy stated clearly in your handbook related to absences with trigger points that provide clarification.  Also, it is critical to note that you should always be consistent in your approach to how you handle the repeated patterns of absences.  This may help you avoid a costly discrimination claim.

If you start to see a pattern of this type of behavior with an employee, it is best for the manager and/or Human Resources Manager to address in a private meeting with the employee.  In this meeting, it is important to show the employee the pattern you have identified.  You can do this by tracking absences for every employee.  You should be doing this for record-keeping purposes regardless.  We assist our clients by setting up Sick Policies and tracking sick time by setting up specific plans and pay codes in our system. We also offer time-keeping solutions that are compatible with our payroll software that makes for easy tracking and reporting.

You will want to address how the Friday and Monday absences impact the team and the production of the company.  Allow the employee to explain the repeated absences as you may be able to determine he or she has a health issue that is the cause for these absences.  If your company qualifies for the Family Medical Leave Act, then you may want to consider offering intermittent FMLA to the employee.  We assist our clients by providing FMLA forms and assisting with compliance with timelines.

Also, if the employee has a health issue, the American with Disabilities Act may come into play, also, depending on the size of your company.  Does the employee need a special accommodation for a health issue?  Would this be considered a reasonable accommodation and acceptable to your company?  We assist our clients with the ADA interactive process and paperwork.

What if the absences are related to an employee having trouble with another co-worker at work including but not limited to harassment or embarrassment from not understanding an assigned job task?  If you determine that an employee feels like they are being bullied or harassed in any way, you will want to start an immediate investigation into the matter and take action after determining the cause and communicate the outcome to the employee who makes the complaint.   Employee Resource Administration, L.P. assists our clients in conducting investigations when necessary.

Is additional training needed?  If this is the case, offer to provide the employee a mentor who is proficient in the area the employee struggles with.  You may also offer your employee some additional training via webinars or off-site training courses.  Our company offers our clients a multitude of training solutions at no additional charge for employees and supervisors.

Let me know if we can assist you now or in the future for this very common occurrence that may be causing you problems and lost production.

You can warn the employee that future absences without a valid medical excuse or other form of acceptable reason, then the employee may be provided a written warning with a second violation resulting in termination.

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