Crisi-I don't see anywhere in Melissa's post that states she wasn't getting her work done. I do see she took some time off for her baby, but it doesn't say she didn't get the job done. I'm amazed at how important it seems in both of your posts to slyly let Melissa have it because of something you experienced. That is not what this site is about. It's about support and when asked for, advice. I also don't see where Melissa says she took time off and didn't use up vacation or personal time. I see where she states she was a salaried employee and docked in pay, thats all.
My DH takes time off as a salaried employee for Dr. appointments, school functions, even volunteering. He does his work when he is there, he is even on call 24/7 if something goes down at work. If he's needed to work on a weekend, like he will be the weekend of my birthday, he's working, even though he gets paid nothing more for it. This is the catch for salaried employees. You take off time, your pay stays the same, you work extra, you don't get anything extra for it.
I'm sorry that you had such a bad experience with your own business, but it doesn't apply to Melissa. She was doing a good job and had to miss some time for a sick child. A good boss and a good working environment would pitch in to pick up the slack until Melissa was able pick it all back up. When you don't have this kind of work environment, you have turnover, which is never good for business. If you truly want to run things smoothly you work a business the same way you would a family, if a player is out for whatever reason, those left rally around to get the job done. If your company employs human beings, then they will get sick, there will be deaths in the family, their family will get sick and so on. I'm not saying if an employee was absent weekly for a year that is acceptable, but if it was a short period of time, thats rediculous. Firing a player for a temporary set back only costs the company more $ in training and time and in your case, a lawsuit. What a waste.