Before you decide to videotape someone whom you suspect may be abusing, make sure you have a good-faith reason to do so. And be prepared to show that surveillance is a common practice for similar suspicions.
Recent case: Paul Casseus has sickle cell anemia, which sometimes causes seeping sores on his legs that create a strong odor. He tookleave to tend to the wounds twice. The two leaves occurred four years apart.
The second time, HR suspected he was abusing leave and ordered surveillance. He was fired when the video showed him walking for a few minutes while using a cane and driving his car.
He sued for FMLA interference. The court ordered a trial, saying it was not clear the employer acted in good faith when it ordered surveillance. (Casseus v. Verizon, No. 08-CV-4119, ED NY, 2010)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Return FMLA leave-taker to equivalent job, no matter what
- Make sure you can authenticate e-signatures on applications and arbitration agreements
- Don't count on vague leave language to limit care for employees' family members
- If FMLA leave has expired, when must we grant additional time off?