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Time spent texting counts as absenteeism

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in Firing,HR Management,Human Resources

Workers who waste time on their personal electronics may be present physically but otherwise absent.

Recent case: Margarita, a medical assistant, missed work for appointments when she was pregnant. However, she also missed lots of work for reasons unrelated to the pregnancy. Plus, she was chastised for spending time on her personal cell phone. Ultimately, Margarita was fired for failing to properly care for a patient, absenteeism and excessive cell phone use.

She sued, but lost. The court said the employer showed she had a terrible attendance record unrelated to pregnancy and that while she was there, she frequently ignored her work. For example, the first day she was criticized for excessive phone use, she sent 144 texts. That was enough proof that she had been terminated for absenteeism and poor performance. (Colon v. Concerta Health, ND NY, 2017)

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