Employee fudges appointments, claiming FMLA? Count that as an unexcused absence — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Employee fudges appointments, claiming FMLA? Count that as an unexcused absence

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Some employees abuse their rights under the FMLA and try to take time off to which they aren’t entitled. Take, for example, an employee who takes an unscheduled trip to his doctor’s office and claims that time as FMLA leave. It isn’t.

Recent case: Robert suffered from anxiety as well as periodic leg and back pain.

His employer had a strict point system for unexcused absences. It required calling in before missing a shift and approval in advance for anticipated absences.

Robert, who was a half point away from discharge under the policy, had an afternoon doctor’s appointment. That morning, he called in to say he was taking FMLA leave. Before noon, he went to his doctor’s office to check on a medical records transfer and pick up a prescription refill. He had no appointment for that visit and no doctor examined him. That afternoon, he went to his previously scheduled appointment.

Robert was fired for taking an unexcused absence in the morning. He sued, alleging the entire day was FMLA leave.

But the court tossed out his case. The morning errand wasn’t medically necessary. He could have worked and wasn’t examined by a doctor. Because his FMLA leave was for treatment and because he received no treatment in the morning, it wasn’t protected time off and could count as an unexcused absence. (Jones v. C&D Technologies, No. 11-3400, 7th Cir., 2012)

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