In what cases absence from the place of work is not considered as unauthorized absence

May, 30 2017

According to the Labor Code of the Russian Federation, unauthorized absence is recognized as absence from the place of work without reasonable excuse for more than 4 hours or for the whole working day. Unauthorized absence is a serious violation of labor discipline and employee can be dismissed for that. However, before dismissing an employee, the employer needs to clear up all the circumstances of absence at the place of work.

 

The following cases cannot be defined as unauthorized absence:

 

1. Employee did not come to work because of illness, however instead of certificate of sickness the employee brought a note from doctor

Certificate of sickness provides employee with the right for allowance due to illness confirmed by the doctor. However, for various reasons such certificate may not be issued on the day of visiting a doctor. Therefore, note from doctor confirms urgency of seeking for medical help.

 

It is important: courts do not consider an unscheduled visit to a doctor without urgent need during working hours as a reasonable excuse for absence from the place of work.

 

2. Employee did not visit a doctor, but warned the employer about a short-term absence due to illness and received confirmation from the employer

Whereas situation, when employee returns to place of work and tries to explain his absence post factum without justifying documents, shall be considered as unauthorized absence.

 

3. Employee appeared in court as a witness, without obtaining permission from employer

According to the criminal procedure, a witness has no right to evade appearance in court. Therefore, employer has no right to prevent employee from appearing in court and dismiss him for it.

Also, employer cannot dismiss employee for unauthorized absence if employee is under arrest or in a car accident. The participant of car accident is obliged to stay at the scene of the incident before the end of required procedures.

 

It is important: if employee, who is also a member of the trade union committee, represents the interests of employees in court without asking for leave from the main place of work, such a situation shall be considered as unauthorized absence.

Participation of a representative in the court is not obligatory, therefor it cannot be considered as reasonable excuse for absence.