Questions about being reprimanded for absences due to family illness.

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Questions about being reprimanded for absences due to family illness.

In the last 12 months I’ve exceeded the amount of absences provided by my
company. During that time my father was diagnosed with cancer, I’ve had updates
my parents live almost 1000 miles away and he passed away at the end of
January. I had FMLA for a few weeks when I went to help out with everything. I
also took my 3 days of bereavement. Before I was on FMLA, I had quite a few
absences due to emotional reasons. Said company has given me a warning, and now
they’re ‘escalating’ it to a write up to which I refused to sign. This is all
taxing on me, do I have any repercussions?

Asked on June 13, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Nevada

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, if you are exceeding the number of absences for which you have paid time off to cover (e.g. sick or vacation or personal days) and/or which are otherwise allowed by your employer, you may be reprimanded, or even fired by, your employer for excessive absenteeism. Regardless of how good your reasons, you have to go to work, and employers do not need to maintain employees who fail to do so. If you can still take FMLA leave, your employer and you are both covered by it, and these circumstances allow FMLA leave (see the U.S. Department of Labor website for information on FMLA), then you can't be disciplined for properly using FMLA leave--but that's the only exception to the company's right to discipline, up to and including terminating, an employee for more absences than the company or his/her PTO allows him/her to take. The fact that you refuse to sign the warning or write-up, or that this is "taxing" on you, is irrelevant--you, as the employee, do not get to decide when or how much you may be absent.


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