is a big problem for many employers. If you suspect that some employees are taking advantage of your leave programs, you can and should come up with a plan to catch them, as one employer recently did.
Recent case: Daryl’s employer approved him forto care for his mother, who was in a nursing home.
To combat a persistent absenteeism problem, the employer came up with a plan to check up on absent employees, including those takingleave. The program sent investigators into the field, targeting a select group of 35 employees who had more unplanned absences than the company average.
One day, Daryl called in to take. Surveillance showed he never left his house. He was terminated for abusing his leave.
Daryl sued, alleging interference with.
In court documents, he said he did see his mother that day. He claimed he left by the back door. To explain why no cars left his driveway, he said his brother picked him up. When asked why the nursing home logs didn’t match his claim they picked his mother up in the morning, he claimed the records were wrong.
An unconvinced court tossed out his lawsuit. It concluded that it wouldn’t matter whether the employer was actually right about the incident. What mattered was that it honestly believed Daryl had abused his leave. (Scruggs v. Carrier Corporation, No. 11-3420, 7th Cir., 2012)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Notify workers quickly that leave counts toward Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) time.
- Firing after FMLA leave: How soon is 'too soon'?
- Employee won't give up FMLA info? That may be willful misconduct
- 'Difficult' employee? Don't assume a disability