Focus on performance–not attendance–when firing employee who used FMLA — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Focus on performance–not attendance–when firing employee who used FMLA

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Caution when dealing with employees who take FMLA leave for a serious health condition. Never count FMLA-related absences against them when tallying attendance records. Doing so interferes with their right to protected FMLA leave. Employers that rely on absenteeism to fire such a worker may find themselves in court arguing over which absences and late arrivals should be included or excluded—and hope they got it right.

A better approach is to focus on performance while the employee is at work. It’s permissible to fire a worker for poor performance whether he’s on FMLA leave or not.

Recent case: Lucinda worked as a nurse at a ManorCare facility. She was already overweight, and when she began gaining even more weight, she worked with her doctors to see what the problem might be. Doctors suspected a kidney problem that was unrelated to her obesity. They prescribed no particular treatment.

Meanwhile, Lucinda periodically missed w...(register to read more)

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