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We have an employee who has used all of her vacation and sick time for the year already. And she continues to take unpaid time off due to her being sick, her husband and her kids. Can we legally terminate her for being absent all the time? She has been talked to many times and everything is documented.

From United States, Spicer
sharper your're in MN correct - well is her illness or her family's considred FMLA???? you might want to check - you have documented this and have spoken to her about it and what does she say? is the company loosing productivity due to this or did she tell you how long she is out for? does she have a dr's note?
depending on these answers depends on what step you can take and not take - let us know so we can be of help!
cheers mate!

From United States, Saint Louis
Yes, I am in Minnesota. Her illness is not FMLA because she hasn't been with the company long enough. We definitely are losing productivity because of her absence. She does bring doctor's notes in when she goes to the doctor which at least once a week. The other option is to move her into another department which will not be so dependent on her schedule.

From United States, Spicer
Don't move a problem around, you'll still have the problem and it may infect others in the organization.

Since she is not covered by FMLA, I am assuming that she has less than one (1) year of service. If that's the case, and the company, or you, or whoever hired her, was unaware of her condition at the time she applied/ was hired there is no obstacle that I am aware of that would prohibit you from terminating her.

Her absences have been excessive ("once a week"), and with or without a Doctor's note, she cannot meet her obligations in the workplace, to perform to expectations. Such non-performance puts a burden on co-workers (who must pick up the slack), supervisor (who must rearrange the workforce and duties), as well as the company (which may be required to pay unnecessary overtime). That's justification for termination.

You do not mention age, but if she is over 40 she may attempt to file an unlawful termination suit. To prevent that, offer her a severance package (or if you have one, expand it), of two (2) weeks and have her sign a release. (contact me at my e-mail address and I can go into it in more detail).

From United States,
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