Advice needed on termination

I need advice on whether or not this employee should be terminated? We have an ee who is constantly late or out sick. This has been going on for years. This ee never has any sick time available to, but it hasn't stopped her. She has gotten worse over the last few weeks. Keep in mind she is now pregnant. Her supervisor has not kept up on the paperwork (evaluations, warning notices, etc.). Her last review was in 2000. Her evaluations prior to that mention her poor attendance, but state that it has not negatively affected her job. There is nothing else to document her poor attendance. I know her supervisor has had a few meetings with her regarding the issue, but he never documented the meetings (If he has, it is not in her personnel file.). What are the ramifications of terminating her? The plan is for her to see her supervisor the next time she arrive at work. I think this is not the best idea, with the lack of documentation. Am I correct?


  • 10 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Begin now and document...when she returns make the attendance policy very clear to her...have her sign something indicating that she understands and has a copy of your attendance policy.

    If you terminate now, it will appear that you're discriminating against her because she's pregnant. The lack of documentation from the past will not help you...nor will the statement "poor attendance, but doesn't affect work".

    Make the termination about performance and policy.

  • Since this has "been going on for years", you may end up with cause to regret terminating her now that she is pregnant. My advice is to put all your efforts into training your supervisors!
  • Your problem is not with the employeee, but with the supervisor. The employee is meeting the supervisor's expectations. "Evaluations mention poor attendance, but state that it has not negatively affected her job." Your (his) documentation shows that her attendance is not an issue. Her last review was in 2000??!! You've got problems and they begin with your supervisor. This guy badly needs training or coaching on documentation and consistency.....among other things. Good luck!!
  • Also, an out you can use is FML. Put her on FML now for any pregnancy related absences. She may burn up the 12 weeks, and then you can term.
  • Now that you have opened up the can of worms with respect to evaluations and documentation, it is probably time to see how the whole shop is doing as to evaluations.

    As pollypop suggested, you might need to implement a training regimen with respect to evaluation training and the importance of consistent documentation and application of the company's policies dealing with tardiness and absenteeism.

    It is not just documenting the events associated with this EE. Even if you get rock solid documentation and that leads to a termination, you could still be at risk for a Pregnancy Discrimination lawsuit if you cannot prove that you treated her like all other EEs.

    If the example of her documentation is just the tip of the iceberg, you would have a difficult time proving that you deal with all absenteeism issues consistently.

  • I want to thank you all for your advice. It is greatly appreciated.
    There are 12 supervisors here, including myself. I only have this problem with 2 of them. The other 10, including myself, follow through with their documentation and evaluations. I realize that my problem is with the supervisor. I have discussed this with him numerous times and he claims to not have the time. If he took 5 minutes after each meetung with her to document it, he would be all set. It drives me crazy that he doesn't document issues. In the 3 years I have been here I have not had an evaluation. One of my problem supervisors used to be my supervisor and my current supervisor is the other one I have a problem with.
    The supervisor is using her timecards as proof of continuing absences prior to her pregnancy through today. She is due at the end of the summer.
    Her supervisor says He will be speaking with our lawyers regarding this. I hope he does.
  • What a pain. Sounds like the supervisor doesn't have time to BE a supervisor. Hmmm...maybe HIS performance problems should be addressed. Seriously - if your organization has policies that he is not holding his employees to while all other supervisors are, HE is the problem. The issues with his employee is just a "bonus" problem you (the company) get from keeping him around. Who is his supervisor? Maybe you should talk to that person.
  • I've kind of toyed with the idea of writing him up. He is the top. The only people above him are the Board of Directors and my understanding is that they think he walks on water. It makes life very difficult here. Over the years I have lost some respect for him. He is not exempt from the rules. He doesn't like that she is not playing by the rules, but I think that's being hypocritical. He doesn't follow the rules, but expects everyone else to. Sorry, just venting.
  • As I was once told, Time cards do not prove someone was tardy or absent they only show when the person clocked in and out. Do you have a posted offical schedule to go along with the times/dates in question? I suggest that you get with your Superivsor or the next level up and get the documentation going as to how the Supervisors are doing and NOT doing their jobs as related to taking care of their people.
    Good luck,
  • Also, be advised that she may be late due to morning sickness which is covered under FMLA & easily certified by an MD so would tread lightly until the reasons for the absences or lateness are explained.
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