How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Phillips Esq. Your Own Question
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 17432
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
16551887
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
Phillips Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

On July 15 I was fired due to absenteeism. I have been very

Customer Question

On July 15 I was fired due to absenteeism. I have been very ill this year. All absences for doctors appointments were pre-approved and all absences due to illness were approved at the time. I have provided doctors notes for some but not all. My employer
has never requested notes. These should all be considered "excused" absences. I have used up all of my paid and unpaid days for the year. I was not notified that using all of my paid time off in the first half of the year would be grounds for dismissal until
it was used up. At that point my manager told me I was on notice and gave me 5 unpaid days. I contracted shingles and my doctor instructed me to stay home and file for short term disability. I filed with the assistance of my employer but they fired me before
the disability could take effect. My employer is claiming that I was terminated for "cause" due to substantial failure to consistently perform your duties because of the absences. I am at 103% of my invoice quota and 125% of my sales quota so even with the
absences I did not fail to perform my duties. I received a bonus at termination because of my invoice and sales numbers. There is no definition of "cause" in the employee handbook. Excessive absenteeism is listed under prohibited conduct in the handbook. "Cause"
is defined in my employment contract as "the commission of embezzlement, fraud, dishonesty, substantial failure to consistently perform your duties for the Company, or conviction of a felony or other serious crime." Considering that I exceeded both sales and
invoice quotas showing no lack of performance, "cause" is not defined in the handbook, all absences were excused or illness, and I had to file for short term disability can my employer truly claim "cause" for termination? Thanks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello: This isCustomer I am a licensed Attorney and I will be assisting you today.
On July 15 I was fired due to absenteeism. I have been very ill this year. All absences for doctors appointments were pre-approved and all absences due to illness were approved at the time. I have provided doctors notes for some but not all. My employer
has never requested notes. These should all be considered "excused" absences. I have used up all of my paid and unpaid days for the year. I was not notified that using all of my paid time off in the first half of the year would be grounds for dismissal until
it was used up. At that point my manager told me I was on notice and gave me 5 unpaid days. I contracted shingles and my doctor instructed me to stay home and file for short term disability. I filed with the assistance of my employer but they fired me before
the disability could take effect. My employer is claiming that I was terminated for "cause" due to substantial failure to consistently perform your duties because of the absences. I am at 103% of my invoice quota and 125% of my sales quota so even with the
absences I did not fail to perform my duties. I received a bonus at termination because of my invoice and sales numbers. There is no definition of "cause" in the employee handbook. Excessive absenteeism is listed under prohibited conduct in the handbook. "Cause"
is defined in my employment contract as "the commission of embezzlement, fraud, dishonesty, substantial failure to consistently perform your duties for the Company, or conviction of a felony or other serious crime." Considering that I exceeded both sales and
invoice quotas showing no lack of performance, "cause" is not defined in the handbook, all absences were excused or illness, and I had to file for short term disability can my employer truly claim "cause" for termination? Thanks

Response: Based on the information that you have provided here, my answer will be NO. Your termination for cause does not meet the requirements of your contract. The employer cannot on one hand terminate you for substandard performance, but then pay you bonus for exceeding your quotas.
You may have a claim for wrongful termination. You may consider retaining the services of a local Attorney who handles labor and employment issues to carefully review your case and see if a lawsuit could be brought against the employer.
You can use the following sites to find local Attorneys:
http://www.lawyers.com
http://www.justia.com
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you! I will need to write a statement to the unemployment agency and the company concerning this. What specific terms or phrases should I use?
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.
I am sorry, but I cannot tell you what specific words and terms to use because that would amount to giving you legal advice, which I am prohibited from doing by the terms of service.