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cannot call in sick for a year Minnesota

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  • cannot call in sick for a year Minnesota

    I had left work early for emergency dental work due to a tooth problem that left my face swollen to the point that I developed a black eye. I returned to work the next day but the prescription drugs that I was given left me very light headed and I was given permission to go home. When I returned the next day I was written up and told that if I had another illness related work absense I could be terminated and their discretion. Is this true?

  • #2
    Maybe.

    You CANNOT be fired for reporting or taking the applicable time off for a work related absence.

    You CANNOT be fired for non-work-related absence that is covered under FMLA.

    You CAN be fired for non-work-related absences that are not protected by FMLA or in some rare situations, the ADA.
    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.

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    • #3
      Thanks for your quick response cbg. If I understand correctly, my employer would be well within their rights to fire me for calling in sick with the flu or any such unforeseen thing that would not be covered under fmla.

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      • #4
        Correct, although it is possible that flu could qualify if all the other eligibilty requirements are met.

        Anything that doesn't fall under FMLA, though, is not protected from termination, with very limited exceptions under the ADA. It would have to be a chronic illness or permanent injury for which time off has been determined to be a "reasonable accomodation" to apply, however.

        I'm not saying I think it would be reasonable or good management, but it would be legal.
        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.

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        • #5
          Agreed with the other answers. The complication is that there is a Common Law legal principal called Employment At Will. This legal principal basically says that either party in the employment relationship can end the employment relationship without recourse by the other party. The principal is not absolute. There are legal exceptions, such as the federal Title VII provision. However the key is that the legal presumption is that termination is legal until/unless it can be shown otherwise. And it is always worthwhile to see if the specific details support one of the exceptions.

          So the question is not so much if "can the employee be terminated because of flu" or any other reason, but rather is there some actual law that the would be maybe violated by the termination. The other answer basically listed some possible laws that would act as impediments for terminating a sick person. Generally speaking it is legal to terminate people because it is Friday or because it raining yesterday because those are not legally protected reasons.
          "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
          Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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