Can I fire employee?

I have a small business and a worker has
tourette’s syndrome but is calling in
sick often. Am I able to fire them?

Asked on January 24, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

IF they are out more than they have sick days or other paid time off (PTO) days to cover or violate/exceed a call out policy, you can terminate them: it is not a required "reasonable accommodation" to let a worker miss work, even for a medical reason, unless they follow company policy in doing so or have PTO for the absences--that is, missing work is not a reasonable accommodation . You also do not need to reduce their number of hours, and can terminate  them if they cannot or will not work those hours--reasonable accommodations do not include working less. (Rather, a "reasonable accommodation" is a change in rules/procedures that is not too expensive or disruptive for the employer and which lets the employee do *all* his job (all hours; all key or core functions)). Having a medical condition does not let a worker miss as many days or hours as he or she wants.
Or if the Tourtette's is disruptive at or damaging at work, you may terminate him or her for that reason: for example, if frequent, loud outbursts drive away customers or interfere with other workers in a significant way. Reasonable accommodations do not include allowing the employee to damage the business.


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