After the fact, employee can’t claim illness caused absence

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in Employee Benefits Program,FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Sometimes, employees hesitate to tell supervisors about their medical problems, especially if they feel there’s a stigma associated with the condition.

But if the employee misses work and is fired, she can’t use the medical excuse to get unemployment compensation benefits. She has to take reasonable measures to protect her job—such as letting her employer know she is ill.

Recent case: Mawuli Anumah was absent 38 times before she was finally fired for violating the company’s absenteeism rule. She applied for unemployment, claiming depression caused her absences. She never told her employer about her problem.

The court dismissed her claim, reasoning that employees must take steps to protect their jobs even if that means revealing a medical condition. (Anumah v. Commissioner of Labor, No. 503355, Supreme Court of NY, Appellate Division, 2009)

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