Some employees have learned how to play the intermittent leave for an illness.
If you really believe an employee is trying to pull a fast one, don’t play the termination card right away. You’ll risk an FMLA interference lawsuit—an expensive ordeal even if you win.
Instead, your first—and safest—option is to request a medical certification stating the employee has a serious health condition. You can request a second opinion if you disagree with the certification, and you can even follow up with a third, tie-breaking certification.
Ultimately, after all that, if you have a good-faith, reasonable reason to terminate an employee because you believe he’s abusing , you won’t be liable even if the suspicion is wrong.
Recent case: A former Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway train conductor got approval to take when his son’s asthma flared up. He used more than 65 days in three months.
Suspicious the employee might be abusing the leave, Burlington fired him. He sued. It turned out that several of the absences might not have been directly related to asthma flare-ups. One was for a doctor’s visit to work on a plan to reduce asthma incidents. Several occurred when a baby sitter was unavailable and the employee couldn’t find a substitute who knew how to handle an asthma attack.
The court said a jury should sort out whether he was entitled to and whether the employer had a reasonable suspicion that he was abusing leave. (Millard v. BNSF Railway, No. 08-C-3752, ND IL, 2009)
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/10279/suspect-fmla-mischief-use-certification-rights-before-taking-drastic-action "
- Bergen hospital nurse claims retaliation after reporting abuse
- Sedentary work restriction may be disability
- The 5 steps of progressive discipline
- 12 weeks? 26? 38? Counting time off when caregiver leave and FMLA overlap
- Remind bosses: The wrong choice of words can bolster an employee's retaliation lawsuit