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Is it legal to terminate a chronically absent employee? California

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  • Is it legal to terminate a chronically absent employee? California

    I have an employee who has had the history of excessive absences. Some for calling out for entire day absences and others for leaving work early due to illness. 1 month ago it was brought to her attention by her supervisor that she was missing excessive amounts of work and that she had used all of her vacation time as well as her sick time and would not be allowed to take off anymore work unless she has the sick time to do so. Yesterday she called and asked to go home early but was told to finish her shift. She stated she had a Dr. appointment scheduled at 3pm today(during regular work hours) and so would need to leave again today. She was told to schedule all appointments around her work schedule(which she was already informed of). She was then informed that she would need a Dr.'s note for the today if she was going to be out ill today. She was told to call by 6:30am if she were not going to come to work. Is it still legal to terminate her when she returns to work on Friday for excessive absences?

  • #2
    I assume FMLA/CFLA didn't apply to any absences.

    Yes, you can terminate her. However, it is always best to have all absences documented & to have warned her of her excessive absences & the consequences if her attendance didn't improve.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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    • #3
      Thanks. The office is only 3 people. FLMA doesn't apply to these absences in any case. We have the absences all documented. She was not told that she would be fired but instead was told that it would not be tolerated.

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      • #4
        If an employee is told something won't be tolerated, then it's obviously logical to assume that the "not tolerated" part means termination. Since this employee can't be counted on to show up to work regularly and given the high level of on-going absenteeism even after she'd been warned, I'd terminate her employment.

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        • #5
          I agree - you're fine with the termination.
          Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

          Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

          Comment

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