The Department of Labor (DOL) recently clarified how attendance policies can lead to violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

No-fault attendance policies give employees points for every absence instead of distinguishing among reasons for leave. For example, a father who misses three days of work to care for his young daughter in the hospital could be assigned three points under his employer’s no-fault attendance plan. Under that attendance plan, employees are disciplined or terminated once they reach a certain number of points.

The DOL has determined that this practice violates the anti-retaliation provisions of the FMLA because an employer cannot take negative actions against an employee for using FMLA leave.

For more information, see the DOL Field Assistance Bulletin 2022-2, dated March 10, 2022.