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Issued 1year Probation for 3 days sick. Legal? New Jersey

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  • Issued 1year Probation for 3 days sick. Legal? New Jersey

    Hello, My wife has been working for a health care facitlity for well over a year. (it was a year in January) She originally had a 3 month "probation" period to see if she would work out with the company. She did very well durring this time, & has been well liked by all of her fellow employee's for her hard work & cheerful attitude. Durring the course of her first year she was never late & only missed 5 days due to illness & did not receive her full vacation time as she was originally promised. Leaving her though with an outstanding balance of over 50 hours in due sick time that was carried over in to 2007.
    But, this past febuary 14th she missed a day due to a bad snow storm in which it was impossible to drive & last week she missed two days because she was very sick with a stomach virus. As I said, she has what they call "Flexable Time Off" hours accumulated in her paycheck of over 50 hours. (Again from last year & also accrued from time worked so far this year) Yet, she has now been given a warning stating that she is now under probation & cannot take any more time off for another year because of this. As her husband, I feel this is more than an excessive abuse of power & was wondering if there is any laws that would protect her from such actions. Could you please Help us. Thank you very much in advance for your time & consideration in this matter. Yours Truly, Stu & Anabel Hannah

  • #2
    How many employees does the employer have within 75 miles of her location? It makes a difference.

    PS. For your own protection your e-mail address has been removed. None of our responders will reply by e-mail and spamming is the least of the problems you could encounter by having your address on a public board.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


    • #3
      RE: # of employee's within 75 mile radius

      Hello, & thank you for the quick response.

      I must say though. I just typed you a long response to this & when I tried to do a spell check ... the whole thing disappeared. So you may want to tell your web administrator about that.
      But, to answer your question ... My wife works for a convalescent home that is part of the Saint Clair's Hospital network here in North Jersey. I don't know the exact number of employee's they have but, I would think that it has to at least be in the hundreds, if not, even thousands.
      I am suspecting the "real" reason they are singling out my wife is the fact that she is one of the few employee's that just received a raise this past January & that seeing that this hospital is ALWAYS saying they are having financial trouble, that they are just looking for ways to "cut the fat" to sort of speak. Using her couple of days absent as an excuse to fire her & bring in someone that could do the same job (she is part of the housekeeping department) for less money.
      The question is though ... How do we prevent them from getting away with this nonsense?
      If you could give us some insight as to how to go about getting this "probation" removed from her file, we would greatly appreciate it. Fore, I am a disabled man & we greatly depend on both her income as well as hospitalization & prescription insurance.
      Thanks again for your help in this matter ...
      Yours truly, Stu & Anabel Hannah


      • #4
        Unfortunately, unless her absences fall under FMLA's provisions for a serious health condition, and she otherwise qualifies for leave (though it sounds like she does if she worked at least 1250 hours last year) her employer isn't obligated to allow her time off. It stinks but it is legal. Needing to make budget cuts is a nondiscriminatory and legimitate reason to let an employee go. It may not be fair, but you can't force them to change their policy or revoke the probation.
        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


        • #5
          Elle picked up on where I was going with this, and she is correct.

          For any illness that qualifies under FMLA, they would legally have to provide the time. But otherwise, it is a legal, if petty, policy.
          The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


          The forum is intended for informational use only and should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for legal advice. The information contained on are opinions and suggestions of members and is not a representation of the opinions of does not warrant or vouch for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any postings or the qualifications of any person responding. Please consult a legal expert or seek the services of an attorney in your area for more accuracy on your specific situation.