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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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We are a small business in California and have an hourly part-time

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We are a small business in California and have an hourly part-time employee who went out sick in June and has been providing doctor's notes in two week increments ever since. We heard she may be getting some state disability benefits for her issue, but we're not certain. Although we are not out any direct costs (she has no sick time, no vacation time and no medical benefits), we're wondering how long we should continue to keep her on the books as an employee. Should we just keep entertaining her two week doctors notes for however long it takes? Or should we terminate the employment?

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

As long as the employee is not on FMLA or another form of protected leave, you are not obligated to keep the employee on for any length of time.

As an at-will employee, you can terminate her employment at any time for any reason with or without any prior notice if you choose to do so.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Does being out sick and unable to return to work for 4 months (based on a doctor's note) qualify for FMLA or being protected?
No, it does not qualify for FMLA leave and is not protected. Only if you had more than 50 employees and the employee worked more than 1,250 hours in the past year would the employee potentially qualify for FMLA leave.

And, in that case, the employee would still need to apply for FMLA leave to be eligible.
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