Conner LantzKeymasterNovember 2, 2023 at 11:10 pmPost count: 4836
We have a shop employee who is 70 days within his probationary period his supervisor wants to proceed with disciplinary action or termination due to excessive absenteeism. Some of his absences have been on account of his wife having pregnancy complications and false labours. In addition, he has missed work off and on due to personal illness. In total, he’s missed at between 10 and 15 workdays on account of his wife’s hospitalization and his personal illnesses (stomach flu, covid, etc). He has provided one medical note for a 5-day medical leave of absence between Oct 25-30 and was heading back to hospital emergency today for personal health reasons, which he will be producing a doctor’s note for. Can we discipline an employee for excessive absenteeism given these circumstances?Conner LantzKeymasterNovember 2, 2023 at 11:12 pmPost count: 4836
I’m not sure if you’re asking about discipline or actual termination. You can discipline an employee for absenteeism regardless of probationary status. However, discipline isn’t in order if the absence is nonculpable, which sounds like the case in this situation. However, you MAY discipline the employee for failure to adequately communicate and document his need to be absent, as long as you have clear policies and procedures and made the employee aware of them. Keep very detailed records of all absences and disciplinary actions taken.
You may also terminate an employee who’s still within his probationary period without termination notice for lack of suitability, which is a much lower standard than just cause. In this situation, it would seem that you’d have a strong case that the probationary employee is not suitable. But again, you need to have complete documentation documenting your decision, why you made it and the attempts you made to warn the employee and get him to correct the problem. Hope that helps. Glenn
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