Workplace accommodations for lateness?
I’m a teacher. I’ve been teaching at my school for 12 years and have had a recurring problem with tardiness. (Yes, they make us sign in every morning, and if we’re late, they take away the normal sign-in sheet and we have to sign the late book.)
We have to be at school at 7:25 am, but our first class doesn’t start until 7:40. What’s worse, every other day, I have a planning period first thing in the morning, so I don’t have students until 9:15.
On days I have students, I’m typically 1-5 minutes late—that is, I arrive at the office between 7:26 and 7:30, which is plenty of time to make it up to my room before the first class starts at 7:40. Only once was I late for my first period class at 7:40, and I think I arrived in the room at 7:42. On days when I don’t have students, I occasionally run later, but call to be sure they know I’m on the way.
I am going to receive a disciplinary note in my file, but I realized today that I might qualify for accommodations under the ADA. The question is, what kind of accommodations should I ask for?
Obviously, there should be some consequence for being late—even though I stay later than is required most days, I realize I’m being paid to be there for seven hours.
I’m considering asking for something like the following:
1. I shouldn’t have planning first period. I need to have a reason for getting to school that’s more pressing than not having to sign the late book.
2. If I’m 1-10 minutes late, I have to sign in early to make up the time within a week. That way colleagues don’t feel like I’m being paid the same amount as them, but not working my full hours.
3. If I arrive after 7:35 and have a first period class, I immediately get docked 1/4 hour of my pay. I need some kind of scary consequence so that the ability to be a little late doesn’t turn into the ability to be a lot late.
Does anyone have any better ideas or any accommodations that have worked for them? The scary thing is that I could actually get fired for being late. Sure, you’d hope that they’d fire teachers who don’t teach, but that’s really hard to document. Being a decent teacher who’s late a lot is easy to document. (In my defense, I think I’m a more than decent teacher.) I’d be in less trouble if I were fifteen minutes early everyday, and just assigned worksheets and questions out of the book.
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