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OK to fire for absenteeism before FMLA eligibility

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in Employment Law,FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources,Maternity Leave Laws

Employers are often confused about how much absenteeism they must allow for employees who haven’t worked long enough to be covered by the FMLA, and who aren’t otherwise entitled to miss work as a reasonable accommodation for a disability.

The bottom line is that if you treat everyone equally, you can set high attendance expectations—and fire those who don’t meet them.

Recent case:
Naomi Springer began work for McLane Company on a 90-day probationary basis. She was told that probationary employees could miss work only twice. Springer, who was pregnant, missed three days and was fired.

She sued, alleging pregnancy discrimination.

But she couldn’t point to any other probationary employees who had been treated more favorably. She lost her case. (Springer v. McLane Company, No. 09-1439, DC MN, 2010)

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