Can I fire employee?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I fire employee?

I have a small business and a worker has
tourette’s syndrome but is calling in
sick often. Am I able to fire them?

Asked on January 24, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

IF they are out more than they have sick days or other paid time off (PTO) days to cover or violate/exceed a call out policy, you can terminate them: it is not a required "reasonable accommodation" to let a worker miss work, even for a medical reason, unless they follow company policy in doing so or have PTO for the absences--that is, missing work is not a reasonable accommodation . You also do not need to reduce their number of hours, and can terminate  them if they cannot or will not work those hours--reasonable accommodations do not include working less. (Rather, a "reasonable accommodation" is a change in rules/procedures that is not too expensive or disruptive for the employer and which lets the employee do *all* his job (all hours; all key or core functions)). Having a medical condition does not let a worker miss as many days or hours as he or she wants.
Or if the Tourtette's is disruptive at or damaging at work, you may terminate him or her for that reason: for example, if frequent, loud outbursts drive away customers or interfere with other workers in a significant way. Reasonable accommodations do not include allowing the employee to damage the business.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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