If I was unable to call out of work but my spouse did, is this still considered job abandonment?

I was terminated for job abandonment on yesterday because I was physically unable to call out of work but my spouse did it for me.

Asked on December 1, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

First, there is no doubt but that you could be fired by your employer for having your spouse, and not you, call out, unless you have an employment contract which either covers this situation specifically, or generally protects or guarantees your employment. This is because in the absence of an employment contract, you are an employee at will and may be fired at any time, for any reason--including the employer not liking that your spouse, not you, called out.

If the employer challenges a claim you make later for unemployment compensation, on the grounds that having your spouse call out violated company policy, you may be able to fight that challenge unless it specifically is a company rule (e.g. in the employee handbook) that an employer must him- or herself call out, and not have someone call on his or her behalf.

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