Is it job abandonment if you tell someone we can’t hold their job

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it job abandonment if you tell someone we can’t hold their job

Employee has been out on seven weeks
part-time disability for maternity was
called and told we could not hold her
job past May 1st we are a business of
for employees including the boss . The
employee said she would tell her Dr we
asked her to keep in touch and let us
know we never heard from her again

Asked on May 9, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If your company is large enough to be covered by FMLA (at least 50 employees who work within a 75-mile radius) and this employee is eligible for FMLA (worked there at least a year; has worked at least 1,250 hours in past 12 months) and she asks for FMLA leave, you'd have to hold her job for up to 12 weeks (that is, she would get up to 12 weeks unpaid leave). If she is there part time, the amount of time you'd have to hold her job is extended (e.g. she gets up to 12 full time weeks worth of time). But if FMLA is not available (e.g. your company is too small), you have not obligation to hold her job for her in this circumstance: if she has left and does not even communicate with you, you can treat her as having abandoned her job and terminate her.

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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