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Jun11

STD and Termination

I have an employee who is ending Short Term Disability and has not made any contact with us. He was due back 2 days ago. Can we terminate him?

When an employee fails to return to work after a leave of absence it’s best to make every attempt to contact him. Call, text, and email him. Use any contact information you have. If the employee is still unreachable then send him a letter. In the letter confirm that he was expected to return to work on the specified date and list the various ways you’ve attempted to contact him. Provide a specified time frame, usually 3-5 business days, from receipt of the letter for the employee to contact you. Conclude by explaining that failure to contact you directly will be perceived as the employee abandoning his job and he will be terminated. Make sure to include your contact information even though he probably has it. To be extra diligent, send the letter certified return receipt. This will ensure the employee receives it.

This may seem like overkill. But, the point is to make sure the employee receives his full entitlement under company policy and any applicable laws. Further, showing that you went above and beyond to contact the employee in an effort to return him to work will prove beneficial if the employee files a wrongful termination claim.

Keep in mind if you’re able to contact the employee and he’s willing to return to work (maybe there was a simple misunderstanding regarding his return to work date), then he should be reinstated as initially planned.

HTH!

This entry was posted on Sunday, June 11th, 2017 at 1:51 pm and is filed under
Termination.
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