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Worker lied about treatment? That’s grounds for termination

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Firing,Human Resources

Some employees are less than honest about their absences. From the “Monday morning flu” to claiming time off for nonexistent medical treatment, employees can get creative. But what can you do if you find out later that an employee has lied to get time off?

Fire him for misrepresentation.

Recent case: Sears employee John Prigge, who has bipolar disorder, never told his employer about his condition. Instead, when he needed time off, he said he needed treatment for prostate cancer. Then he was hospitalized and confessed to psychological difficulties and lying about his prostate.

Sears demanded medical excuses for his prior absences. When it heard nothing, it discharged him. He sued, alleging disability discrimination.

The court concluded Prigge legitimately could be fired for lying about prior absences. (Prigge v. Sears, No. 10-3397, 3rd Cir., 2011)

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