Excessive Absences/Lateness

There is no specific number of absences that is automatically considered excessive; the individual facts and circumstances of each case must be considered. According to an arbitration award, facts which must be considered include, but are not limited to, whether the absences were due to unusual circumstances, whether the absences are likely to recur, whether there is a pattern of absences, the employee’s attendance and work history including the number of CAR days and the number of years of service, whether a serious illness is involved and the adverse impact of the absences on the school and its students.

If you are tenured and you are excessively absent or late, the DOE has the right, with sufficient notice, to file disciplinary charges against you under section 3020-a of the State Education Law. There is a special, expedited procedure when the DOE seeks to discipline a tenured teacher because of time and attendance issues, but in these cases, the hearing officer cannot terminate you, but rather levy penalties less than termination. It is critical that you contact your UFT borough office as soon as you are charged so that you can receive proper assistance and representation. You will be assisted in filing the necessary forms and arrange, if you choose, to have a NYSUT attorney represent you at the hearing.

If you are not tenured and you are excessively absent or late, you may receive a letter for your official file. You also may be subject to an unsatisfactory (“U”) rating and/or discontinuance of your probationary service (in other words, termination). You should contact your chapter leader immediately so that you can be provided with the proper advice and representation.

Also see Disciplinary Actions, Probationary Period, Ratings.

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