Employers have every right to terminate employees who can’t come to work on time—but not for taking.
Recent case: Margaret Barron had a serious tardiness problem and was warned that she could be fired if she continued to come to work late.
Then she called in sick with bronchitis and had to miss several days of work. She also asked HR about the possibility of taking additionalleave for knee surgery. As soon as she returned from her sick leave, she was terminated.
She sued, arguing the timing meant her employer must have fired her for asking for FMLA leave.
The court said a jury should decide whether she was punished for doing so, or whether her employer fired her for tardiness. (Barron v. Quest Diagnostics, No. 09-1247, ED PA, 2010)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Play it straight: When employee's complaints become irrational, stick with sound procedures
- Cut your retaliation risk: Make sure training is open to everyone who's eligible
- Winning lawsuit no slam-Dunk when firing follows romance
- Does the FMLA cover leave after a relative dies?