Does your California employer have a policy which requires automatic termination after one year? Apparently, UPS has such a policy, but in light of a recent 7th Circuit ruling, may well decide to reconsider. The fact pattern in this case is very similar to many such cases Danz has litigated in California over the last few years. Termination in violation of public policy and discrimination under state and federal anti-discrimination laws
In the current case, a disabled worker was off for a year and needed to return and use a cane. UPS determined that she was not 100% healed, and thus could not return. Since she could not return without an accommodation, she was terminated. The court examined the basis of the EEOC’s regulations and determined that this was a “qualification”, not “attendance” standard (which UPS argued was involved here, and that’s not surprising for them since “attendance” is always an essential element). As such an automatic termination at the end of one year prevents any individualized assessment and is per se illegal.
Kind of surprising, but we’ve seen that the larger the employer, the more likely they are to have some type of one-year automatic termination policy. Must be something in those HR departments that simply love to calendar dates in advance then pop out the automatic termination letter without making a phone call or talking with the employee about their current status, could they return to do the essential elements of their job, etc. We represent hundreds of whistle blowers, victims of job-based discrimination, throughout California each year. If you believe you have a meritorious case, please call us at 877 789-9707 or reply through our website.