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Delta-Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 3546
Experience:  In-House Counsel & Litigator
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I own a home cleaning company. We have an employee,

Customer Question

I own a home cleaning company. We have an employee, Assistant Manager for 1-1/2 years, that about 2 months ago was diagnosed with Crohns Disease. We have been very patient with her but her productivity suffers greatly because of the pain she deals with
and the trips to the bathroom. She recently had a flareup and spent 3 days in the hospital and is now off for this week and most of next week. She has used up her allotted sick days and vacation days. Since there is no cure we recognize that her symptoms will
continue making her non-productive. There really is no work we can give her to do that will allow her to contribute in a productive way. She is struggling to do the office work and may be able to clean houses on a part-time hourly basis. She is hurting the
business. We must let her go. How do we position this termination to avoid any complications? If you have a template for this type of termination please provide. Is she entitled to disability? What does she have to do to get disability? I understand that a
great number of Crohns Disease patients go on disability. Your advice is greatly appreciated. Is there additional information you need?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

I hope this message finds you well present circumstances excluded. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of employment law experience. It is a pleasure to assist you today.

You can let her go without fear of legal liability. You need to be able to show through documentation that you have attempted to reasonably accommodate her relative to her illness. It appears that you have done that based on what you have shared with me.

She is likely eligible for disability based on her disease. The type of disability would be obtained through the Social Security Office. It is commonly referred to as SSDI. Once she is approved for that, in Illinois she may also apply for State Supplemental Payment (SSP) which helps offset costs of living.

She can apply for SSDI by meeting with the local social security office. About 30% of applicants in Illinois receive an award of disability. That said, due to the severity of her disease, her chances are much higher than the average.

I would first make sure you can document that you have attempted to reasonably accommodate her. Once you know you can do that through documentation and testimony, you can terminate. In the letter, I would state that "after many attempts to reasonably accommodate you and your employment, we have come to the conclusion that we cannot do so any further without unreasonable damage to the company." You can then give her perhaps a one month severance (one month of pay - though two weeks is reasonable as well and you don't have to give anything).

I would then add language that based on her condition, she may be able to receive SSDI and that you will work with her in attempting to get that accomplished if needed.

Tell her she has been a good employee, but can no longer being employed after good faith reasonable accommodation efforts have proved to be futile.

The letter should be short and sweet and to the point.

Let me know if you have any other questions or comments.

Please also rate my answer positively.

Best wishes going forward!

Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Did you have any other questions or comments? I want to make sure you are as comfortable as possible as you move forward. Thanks

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