Wednesday, September 24, 2008

When Absences and Work Leave Becomes a Job Issue

When an employee gets sick and has to take a leave, it is usually expected that he would notify his employer about his absence. If he fails to do so, the consequences are often undesirable to the worker.

Take the case of the employee who lost his job after taking up more than the allowable number of absences and failed to notify his employer. Because of this, the employee was sacked.

In the article, “CFRA Requires a California Employer to be Proactive with its Employees Sick Leave”, posted on September 18, 2008, the issue of absences and sick leaves were tackled. Based on the case, the Continental Airline employee exceeded the allowed number of absences and missed notifying his employer about it, although he told some of his friends that he was hospitalized for an illness. As a result, he was fired.

Generally, unexplained absences can be a basis for one’s termination. If an employee or worker fails to notify or give a valid reason to his employer about his absences, the issue would certainly result into a job issue.

However, the law protects employees from being penalized for taking leaves when necessary. In California, for instance, the Family and Medical Act and the California Family Rights Act guarantee protection of these rights.

These statutes allow eligible employees to take leave of up to a total of twelve (12) weeks for each calendar year.

To be eligible for this leave, a full-time employee must have been employed for a total of twelve (12) months and he must have worked 1,250 hours in the year preceding the leave.

Under the law, a leave may only be permitted for the following reasons:

• If the employee is unable to work due to a serious health condition

• To care for an immediate family member (spouse, child or parent) who has a serious health condition

• During the birth or adoption of a child or during a foster
In order to qualify for such a leave, an employee must meet the eligibility standards set by law and a notice to the employer must be made. At the most, he would have to consult with an experienced employment lawyer to help him with the issue.