Q. An employee who is off on an approvedjust submitted her resignation, providing two weeks’ notice. Our asks employees to provide a two-week notice when possible. May we terminate the employee’s employment immediately rather than wait two weeks?
A. Probably yes, but with caution. Theallow employers to terminate the leave immediately when the employee unequivocally communicates that he or she has no intention of returning to work.
Before you act, carefully examine your past termination practices. When employees who are not onor another legally protected leave give notice of resignation, does your company generally terminate those employees early? If not, you may be at risk for a potential discrimination lawsuit.
Although the risk of legal action may be lessened by the FMLA regulations, it is advisable to consult with an attorney if your practices appear inconsistent. And certainly, the course of action with the least amount of risk would be to just wait the two weeks.
Susan K. Fitzke and Sarah J.Gorajski are shareholders, advising clients out of Littler Mendelson’s Minneapolis office. Contact them at (612) 630-1000 or send email to Susan at email@example.com and Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org.