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If you feel stuck between letting absences spiral out of control and worrying about triggering lawsuits by improperly denying leave, you’re not alone. Nowadays, managing employee leave has almost become a full-time job.

Every type of employee leave is different. Some leave requests involve difficult personal issues, while others can cause workplace morale problems. Plus, every state has different leave laws.

What's worse, the costs of employee absenteeism—reflected in lost production, overtime and temporary replacements for the absent worker—can add up quickly.

What's the best way to combat the problem?

Follow these 4 steps to start combating absenteeism:

1. Set a clear policy

Distribute a policy indicating when and under what conditions an employee will be paid (or not paid) for absences. Set a maximum.

The policy should indicate types and stages of discipline that will apply to employees who violate the policy.

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