It’s one of the biggest challenges for HR – FMLA abuse. You don’t want to run afoul of the law and not grand leave when it’s warranted, so most times HR just grants the leave and that’s it.
But what about the times you’re pretty sure this leave is being abused?
It’s particularly difficult when the leave is taken intermittently. How can you tell if a day here or a day there is valid?
There are red flags you can look out for. To start with, track the leave to see if there’s a pattern – long weekends, around vacation days, etc. Typically, a true illness doesn’t only flare up on Fridays.
For extreme cases, you may need surveillance. This will prove the employee is engaging in behaviors while on leave that they said they couldn’t do at work.
Corporate Counsel recommends the following investigative techniques:
- interviews with the employee
- consulting with a private investigator and an outside medical professiona
- requiring employees provide medical certification (like a doctor’s note) for FMLA leave.
Certifications are a key tool in managing leave and preventing abuse. But using these effectively – and legally – is a skill in and of itself. Learn how with FMLA Medical Certification: Employer’s Guide to FMLA Trouble Spots.
This is an area every HR pro will encounter at some point in their career. Make sure you’re prepared – attend C4CM’s upcoming online event on FMLA Intermittent Leave: How to Track, Administer and Prevent Employee Abuses on February 5 at 2:00 PM ET. Can’t make it? Get the CD and stay up to date!