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Look deeper into dubious intermittent FMLA leave

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Q. If an employee calls off intermittently for migraine headaches, how can we verify the real reason for the leave? Can we ask for information each time the employee is absent? —J.M., Ilinois

A. You’re certainly not the only employer to complain about employees taking advantage of intermittent leave. Many employers have struggled with employees whose conditions seem to flare up on Fridays and Mondays. There’s no way to stamp out this type of abuse altogether. However, you can minimize it by making sure that you promptly designate all time off—including intermittent leave—to help you exhaust the 12-week FMLA clock as quickly as possible.

Also, don’t accept FMLA certification forms that include blanket statements, such as “intermittent leave recommended.” You have the right to demand more specific information. If you have reason to be suspicious of a certification, you can send the employee to a company-selected physician for a second opinion.

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