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Worried about leave abuse? You can require regular call-Off

by on
in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Employees who have chronic medical conditions that require intermittent FMLA leave sometimes take advantage of alleged flare-ups to go on vacation or otherwise miss work for personal reasons.

Discourage that kind of abuse by requiring them to call in daily. If the employee ignores the requirement, you can terminate her for failing to follow company policy.

Recent case: Marcia Nance was off work for long periods of time due to an injury she received on the job. When she returned to a light-duty position, Nance alleged the work was meaningless and demeaning. Apparently the circumstances caused so much stress that Nance’s psychiatrist diagnosed her with an adjustment disorder and suggested more time off.

The company agreed but reminded Nance that all employees, even those on leave, were required to call in daily to report their absences. When Nance didn’t call, the company called her. First, she didn’t answer. Then, she told the company representative that she couldn’t talk just then and hung up. The company terminated her for violating the company’s no-call policy. Nance sued.

But the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals tossed out the case, reasoning that Nance abandoned her job by failing to follow the call-off rule. (Nance v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber, No. 06-6563, 6th Cir., 2008)

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