Can I dismiss an employee who missed work and lied about the real reason why?

I have a staff member who has been off work for the past 2 weeks. The first week she had sent a message with her sister who also works for me notifying me that she had hospitalized due to a back injury. I tried calling her but no response that week. The next week she sent me a message saying she just got discharged the day before and is unable to come to work as she is recovering. I tried calling her again but she ignores my calls. Upon the third week I received news from a colleague that the reason the employee had not been to work is that she is pregnant. I approached her sister who confessed the truth that she is pregnant. I tried calling her again but to no avail. Do I have grounds for dismissing her? Currently she has a second written warning for not coming to work. What about her salary? Do I pay for this even though she has not been here for almost the whole month.

Asked on August 24, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Alaska

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Firing an employee due to their pregnancy can land a company in legal trouble. However, if the reason for the termination is due to the employee lying about their absences from work, whether or not they are pregnant, is legal.


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