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Can FMLA leave cover routine tardiness?

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Q. Some of our employees routinely ask to use FMLA when they are five or 10 minutes late. It’s a scheduling nightmare and hurts morale. Does the FMLA cover employees who are consistently tardy?

A. Only if the tardiness is the result of a serious health condition for which the employee needs intermittent FMLA leave or a reduced schedule. If employees are consistently tardy for reasons that are protected by the FMLA and if a physician has certified that it is medically necessary for them to take intermittent FMLA leave or work a reduced schedule, then their tardiness may be protected by the FMLA.

If you doubt that the tardiness is due to a serious health condition or other FMLA-protected reasons, you can ask the employee to get a second medical opinion at your expense.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen September 7, 2017 at 11:31 am

Did you ever get an answer to this Ernie??? I am in the same predicament, and really don’t know what to do…


Candice Powell July 16, 2017 at 8:43 pm

Wa there an answer to this? I’m having the same issue.


Ernie Briseno May 23, 2017 at 3:00 pm

my 8 year old son has been diagnosed with a medical condition. His condition forced me to change schools and now we have new school hours starting at 7:45 am. I can take him as early as 7:15 am, however at times he tenses us and has episodes. My work has a start time of 7:30 am and I am late every Monday and Thursday for our 7:30 meeting. Can I use FMLA every Monday and Thursday morning for a min of 30 mins per day? I am running out of options and I need this job.


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