From the Hotline: Medical Leave and Termination

Question: We have disciplined an employee on multiple occasions for attendance issues. She left unexpectedly the day before she was to go on medical leave and has not returned, nor has she responded to attempts to reach her. Can we terminate her employment?

Answer: Due to the medical leave there may be some risk in terminating this employee; however, you should note that most employers consider three days no-call, no-show as job abandonment. It is recommended that you handle the matter according to your company policy and in consistency with how other employees have and will be treated. Providing a written notification via United States Postal Service and certified mail is a best practice advising of the termination due to job abandonment, along with a statement such as, “If there are extenuating circumstances that we may not be aware of, please contact us within 24 hours of this notice.” Retain a copy of proof of delivery in the event of any possible future allegations.