Thanks to those who attended my webinar last week with Matt Morris on “Stop the Madness! Effective Ways to Protect Your Organization Against FMLA Abuse.” A link to access the recording can be found here, and the presentation PowerPoint slides can be downloaded here.

To the nearly 7,000 people who registered for the webinar, thank you.  To those who missed it, you still have time to access the recording.  In particular, we covered:

  • Managing Intermittent FMLA Leave.  Here, we outlined practical steps you can take early on to fight FMLA abuse (e.g., recognizing the need for FMLA leave, importance of call-in policies and how to address late call-ins, meeting with the employee to set expectations when FMLA is approved) and after FMLA leave has begun to ward off FMLA misuse (personal certification, the effective use of recertification, identifying patterns of suspected FMLA leave misuse  and communicating with the physician about the suspected misue).
  • Requiring the Employee to Perform Essential Job Functions when ADA Leave is Requested.  When your employee is not eligible for FMLA leave or has exhausted FMLA leave but continues to be absent, we offered suggestions on how we still can hold employees accountable for not showing up to work.
  • Taking Action where the FMLA abuser is caught red-handed.  Found photos of your employee’s water-skiing vacation posted to Facebook at the very time they should be home in bed recuperating on FMLA leave? No problem! We outlined the steps for an effective investigation of your employee’s conduct so you can take appropriate disciplinary action and avoid getting sued.
  • Finally, we offered tips to avoid liability for foolish things managers say and do when they suspect FMLA leave abuse.

And in what has become a custom, we ended our webinar with a holiday jingle. So, I leave you with my warm regards for a Happy Holiday and peaceful New Year, and the lyrics to the holiday song “Oh Rest Ye FMLA Misusers” which we sung to the tune of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” by the Bare Naked Ladies (a version which you can listen to or skip on the recording!):

I woke up at 4:30 with a scratched cornea 

It was better than last week, I swore I had a hernia

Oh what excuse I could concoct to avoid my overtime

Oh, tidings of FMLA . . . and ADA . . .Oh, tidings of FMLA

* * *

I need a stupid doctor’s note to take ADA medical leave

That Won’t Be a Problem, I save one in my sleeve

I think I’ll make a tee time because my boss is so naive 

Oh, tidings of FMLA . . . and ADA . . .Oh, tidings of FMLA

* * *

Law of Wonder, Law of Light

Law that will help me get out of work tonight

But if I’m not careful, come tomorrow, 

I will need a new worksite!

* * *

Thanks again to those who attended the webinar. I look forward to your feedback on the issues we discussed.

Happy Holidays!