March Madness begins in just a few days.  It’s that glorious time of year when college basketball teams from around the country (and their fans) are filled with hope and excitement.  Who will make it to the final four?  Who will win the championship game?  Brackets are being completed and upsets are being selected.

Experts predict that March Madness will cost billions of dollars in lost worker productivity as employees stream games and check scores.  But spikes in internet activity are not the only thing on the rise.  Employers can also expect an increase in attendance issues.  Whether its long lunches, returning late from breaks or last minute call outs, employers should be prepared to deal with these issues.

Employers should take the time to remind employees of any leave and attendance policies.  Making sure that employees have notice of what is required (and expected) can help avoid attendance related misconduct.  These reminders can also be helpful if the employer needs to defend any disciplinary action.