Staff Manual: Daily Absences

Revised 04/97.

Absences without Pay


Employees who miss all or part of their scheduled shift for reasons not covered by vacation, holiday, sick time, or other special circumstances must record such time as absence without pay. Corresponding deductions will be made from their paychecks for time missed. Absence without pay is recorded as either excused absence (which supervisors must allow in some situations and have the option of allowing in others) or unexcused absence. Whether their absences are excused or unexcused, employees may take no more than 14 consecutive calendar days as absence without pay. Absences longer than the 14 days must be considered under the provisions for leaves of absence (see Leaves of Absence, SPG 201.30).

Employees should bear in mind that excessive absences without pay affect their overall work performance and that excessive absences may trigger disciplinary action. (Approved vacation time is not considered as an absence in this case.)

Excused Absences without Pay

Circumstances in which supervisors must allow employees to use excused absence without pay, if the employee wishes, include these:

  • When the Library or University administration declares that threatening weather conditions, short of an official Inclement Weather Period, have developed and that employees may or should leave work (see Inclement Weather, SPG 201.27);
  • When the head of a Library department agrees that working conditions in a unit, such as construction noise, fumes, etc., have reached the point where employees should be allowed to leave, if they wish, and when they cannot work in another area;
  • When an employee has substituted a day of personal significance for a holiday (see Holidays, SPG 201.26).

Supervisors may, at their option, allow employees to take excused absences without pay, within the 14-day limit, for any other reasonable situation, e.g.:

  • When an employee wishes to cover or extend an absence without using, or after exhausting, vacation accrual;
  • When an employee wishes to attend classes not covered by the Tuition Refund Program;
  • When an employee who has exhausted other sick time coverage wishes to schedule health-care appointments.

Please note that supervisors must allow employees who have exhausted their sick-time coverage, and who give proper notification, to take excused absence without pay for verifiable health-related appointments, at some time within the period of need. Only the specific time is subject to the supervisor’s option, e.g., the supervisor may refuse to allow the employee to schedule an appointment for a specific rush period if the appointment can be safely postponed.

Unexcused Absences without Pay

Supervisors may record absences such as these as unexcused:

  • When employees fail to appear at the start of their scheduled shift and fail to call in within one hour;
  • When employees abandon their work station without permission;
  • When employees fail to meet notification or permission requirements for the use of paid time off, even though they otherwise have such time available for use (e.g. employees must notify their supervisors that they will be attending funerals or they will not receive paid time off; employees must have permission from their supervisors before using their vacation accrual; employees with accrued sick time must notify their supervisors of illness to cover their absences with paid time off).

Time Document Reporting

Absences without pay should be noted according to the instructions on bi-weekly timesheets and attendance cards.

Calling in to Report Absences


Library staff members must notify their supervisors at the beginning of their work shift if they are unable to come to work as scheduled due to illness, car trouble, or any other unanticipated developments.


Who should call in:

Ordinarily, employees themselves should call. Spouses, roommates, friends, etc., may report only if the employee is unable to use the phone.

Whom to notify:

Unless the supervisor informs the staff member of a different procedure for their unit, employees should speak to their supervisors, not merely leave a message for them. If the supervisor is not available, employees should try to speak to another supervisor in the area; otherwise, they should leave a message for their supervisor with a telephone number at which they may be reached.

What to report:

Employees should specify the nature of the problem, e.g., flu, car trouble, and how long they expect to be absent.

They should also specify the location of items that others may need during their absence, e.g., project files, time documents, and leave whatever instructions are necessary.

When to call in:

Employees should report no later than the start of their scheduled shift (or, if compelled to be absent at some point after the start of their shift, no later than the time they were scheduled to be back at their work station). Only when valid reasons make prompt calling impossible should employees have to call beyond the start of the work schedule (and no later than one hour beyond).

How often:

Employees should call in every day of their absence or, if they find their absence will be longer than previously specified when first calling in, at the end of the previously specified period.

If absent employees have not called within one hour after their scheduled shift starts, supervisors should call them. Supervisors may also wish to call the Library Human Resources Office for guidance if, after an extended period, an employee neither appears nor calls in.

Employees who are absent from work for three or more consecutive days without giving notice or calling in may be terminated unless they can effectively show that some exceptional circumstance made notification impossible. Again, supervisors should consult the Library Human Resources Office for guidance, preferably by the end of the first day of the unexplained absence.

Page maintained by Richard L Schrader
Last modified: 05/08/2009