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Video surveillance: If you can’t do it right, don’t do it

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Video surveillance can help catch employees who are abusing the system. For example, video of an employee cleaning the gutters while on FMLA leave may show he’s not sick.

But before you conduct your own surveillance or hire someone to do so, here’s a simple tip: Make sure your video images will actually present solid evidence that the employee is capable of doing more than he says.

Recent case: Gary Cross went on disability for back problems. Insurance carrier MetLife arranged video surveillance and stopped paying Cross after seeing him coach a Little League game.

But the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision, concluding that Cross wasn’t malingering. All the tape showed was Cross sitting on a box and tossing a few baseballs in the air. (Cross v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, No. 07-14201, 11th Cir., 2008)

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