Can I dismiss an employee who missed work and lied about the real reason why?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I dismiss an employee who missed work and lied about the real reason why?

I have a staff member who has been off work for the past 2 weeks. The first week she had sent a message with her sister who also works for me notifying me that she had hospitalized due to a back injury. I tried calling her but no response that week. The next week she sent me a message saying she just got discharged the day before and is unable to come to work as she is recovering. I tried calling her again but she ignores my calls. Upon the third week I received news from a colleague that the reason the employee had not been to work is that she is pregnant. I approached her sister who confessed the truth that she is pregnant. I tried calling her again but to no avail. Do I have grounds for dismissing her? Currently she has a second written warning for not coming to work. What about her salary? Do I pay for this even though she has not been here for almost the whole month.

Asked on August 24, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Alaska


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Firing an employee due to their pregnancy can land a company in legal trouble. However, if the reason for the termination is due to the employee lying about their absences from work, whether or not they are pregnant, is legal.

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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