Fire him, or at least give him one warning the if he does it again fire him. Work days are for work. If the guys mother passed away or someone in his immediate family sure I can see giving him a days or two off. But what other job in any profession can someone just take off like he has? None that I know of. And this is your biz, your livelihood, the way you support you and your family. I had two guys like this that I let get away with the same stuff for way too long, and the "I bust my arse for you" I've heard so many times, along with "I'm not getting paid enough for the work I do". The only thing you owe your employee is the job you gave them and a paycheck for the work they did. It is their job to "bust their arse for you." That's what they are getting paid to do. I finally got rid of the two guys I had and it was the best decision I ever made. I wasn't looking forward to having to retrain people but it was well worth it. Both threatened to sue me, blew up my phone with voice mails cussing me out, etc. Whatever, they didn't have a leg to stand on - and I had contacted my attorney first to make sure of it. It was nothing personal, I actually like both guys (until the threats etc.) but in the end they were taking away from my family by calling out all the time with lame excuses including "I can't work today I have to get my oil changed." That's what weekends are for.
2008 F-350 Super Duty Dually gas guzzler
14x7 landscaping trailer
12x6 P&T hydro dump trailer w/leaf box
We run Gravely ZTRs, Honda 21"s, Kawasaki trimmers, Redmax Backpacks, LittleWonder loader