If you have an employee who is always late to work or absent, then you must be really worried. You must be thinking how to discipline him or if it is possible to fire him. However, before taking any drastic step, you should be aware of the various rules and laws in this situation.
Otherwise, you may land up in legal trouble later on. The first thing which you should do is find out whether FMLA applies or not. As per this Act, you are supposed to give ” intermittent leave” to an employee is he is suffering from a serious medical condition. Some examples of serious medical conditions are cancer or diabetes.
In cases where FMLA is applicable, then the employee is allowed to 12 weeks of leave in a year. It will be illegal to fire him. However, the good thing about FMLA is that you don’t have to pay the employee during the leave period.
You can require the employee to provide the necessary medical certificates and give a notice in advance if they know of an upcoming medical absence (such as a scheduled surgery.) In case the illness is affecting the ability to work, then you will have to transfer him to a position per his capabilities. However, the pay has to be the same.
You also have to worry about the ADA. As per the ADA, you are expected to accommodate an employee if he is able to perform the basic functions even if there is a disability. However, the definition of ” Disability” given by ADA is very vague.
If your employee is neither protected by the FMLA or ADA, then you have every right to fire him provided there are no other state restrictions. One way to avoid such a situation from happening is to have a policy regarding this.
When any new employee joins, you should provide him with an employee handbook which covers all the important topics like leave, FMLA, and ADA. You should also make the employee acknowledge the receipt of the handbook.
Another thing which you should do is provide a detailed job description for every position which you hire for. Also, make sure that you keep a track of the attendance records of all the employees so that you can protect yourself in case there is a case against you.
In order to reduce the risk further, you can also take an insurance regarding this. And in case you need legal assistance, you can contact a labor attorney. They will be able to help you out in these tough situations.