I had to take a personal leave of absence from work because of a death in the family While I was on leave I spoke with my direct manager and informed her that I would be able to return to work the following week. She told me that she was unsure of when she could schedule my first shift back at work because she had given my hours to other employees. She said she would have to look into the schedule and figure out when she could give me a shift and that she would contact me sometime during the following week and let me know what day I should return to work. However I didn't heard from her, so I called and left her messages at work. I even called her cell phone and left her text messages. The following day I recieved a message from my store manager stating that I was considered a no call no show and that I was considered resigned from the company. My separation notice says "Involuntary Absence" My question is What can I do about it? Can I file a complaint? Can I sue?
2 Answers from Attorneys
You can file for unemployment, as it appears you were effectively terminated. Unless you have a contract, an employee can be terminated for any or no reason (with a few exceptions).
There are some missing facts here that might make a differrence: How many employees does your employer employ? If it is more than 50 the employer most likely would be covered by the Family Medical Leave Act. Was the relative a son, daughter spouse, parent or someone who stood in for your parents? Was the deceased sick before the death or was it sudden ? Were you needed to help care for the person while s/he was dying? While the FMLA does not provide for bereavement leave, if at least some of the absence was to care for the decedent, it might be covered leave and your employer might be liable (or at least in a position to negotiate your return to work or severance).
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