Dealing with Excessive Unexcused Absences

COADVANTAGE | October 25, 2016

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When employees fail to show up for work and provide no notice, employers have no choice but to separate and replace them; but not all situations are so clear cut. For example, Sue may have made arrangements for intermittent leave under the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) to attend physical therapy or counseling, but she doesn’t always provide sufficient (or any) advance notice. Complicating the situation, she may have strained relationships with colleagues or supervisors stemming from her absences, and that could raise the specter of harassment or a hostile work environment. How can a business protect itself, navigate this regulatory minefield, and do the right thing? We’ve previously written about these topics, including “5 steps for dealing with chronic absences” and “3 steps for dealing with FMLA leave.” But more specifically, what happens when the absences become excessive, or previously allowable leave begins to interfere with the employee being able to carry out their core duties?

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