Category Archives: Abuse of FMLA leave

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Facebook Pictures of Employee Socializing at Local Festival Drown Her FMLA Claims

Employers and fellow FMLA nerds, consider this an early holiday present: Courts are increasingly dismissing FMLA claims when they find that the employer has an honest belief that the employee has engaged in FMLA fraud.   This is a longer than usual post, but hang with me, as I share some best practices below.   … Continue Reading

Employer's 'Honest Suspicion' of FMLA Abuse Enough to Dismiss FMLA Claims

Carrier Corp. had enough of its employees abusing FMLA leave, so it played the ultimate trump card — the Company hired a private investigator to conduct surveillance on 35 employees who were suspected FMLA abusers.  One of the 35 was Daryl Scruggs, who served as a brazier (one who torches parts into fan coils) for the Company.  Scruggs Has … Continue Reading

Giants Beat Patriots in the Super Bowl! Can I take FMLA Leave Today?

Monday, February 6, 2012 is a bittersweet day for employers across New York and elsewhere.  Just hours earlier, their employees watched the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.  For these employers, however, many of their employees won’t be at work Monday morning.  The reason?  In a 2008 survey conducted by The … Continue Reading

Employee Who Abused FMLA Leave Around the Holidays Properly Terminated

Employers often complain that they see an uptick in the use of sick leave and FMLA leave around the holidays.  In the case of Southwest Airlines, however, one employee clearly took FMLA misuse a bit too far. Douglas Rydalch was a reservation sales agent for Southwest.  When Southwest closed its reservation center in Salt Lake … Continue Reading

Will Employers Soon Use GPS to Catch FMLA Abuse?

Earlier this week, the folks at the Texas Employment Law Update highlighted a case before the U.S. Supreme Court in which the high court will consider whether law enforcement’s placement of a GPS devise on a suspect’s vehicle without a warrant constitutes an unlawful search in violation of the Fourth Amendment.  This case led the authors to wonder … Continue Reading

Employee's FMLA Claim Dismissed After Taking a Trip to Cancun

Employees should think twice before setting off on a Cancun vacation while out on FMLA leave.  In an FMLA decision that smacks of pure common sense, a federal court has upheld an employer’s reasonable work rules that restricted an employee’s travel outside the immediate vicinity while on FMLA leave.  Pellegrino v. CWA (pdf). The Facts Denise Pellegrino, a … Continue Reading

Play Ball! An FMLA Lineup That Keeps You in the Pennant Race

In this opening weekend of major league baseball, hope springs eternal for every baseball fan.  In honor of my beloved Chicago White Sox, I offer an FMLA lineup card below that from top to bottom will help employers stay atop the pennant race throughout the year.  [First, feel free to play the National Anthem if you so desire…] From … Continue Reading

An Employer's FMLA Nightmare? Hooters Offers Fake "Doctor's Notes" to Skip Work During NCAA Tourney

Over the upcoming weeks, when Carl the Custodian is missing from your workplace, you may want to give your local Hooters Restaurant a call.  He just might be there watching the NCAA tournament.  Hooters has unveiled a marvelous marketing ploy to get customers through their doors during the NCAA tournament — the Company is offering doctor’s … Continue Reading

Did Weekly Calls To Employee Interfere With FMLA?

That is the question a federal district court in Arkansas recently held would have to be resolved by a jury, and one that should concern any employer seeking to control the abuse of FMLA leave. Terwilliger v Howard Mem Hosp.pdf The Facts Regina Terwilliger worked for Howard Memorial Hospital for approximately two years, first in the … Continue Reading

Suffering from Super Bowl-Induced FMLA Leave?

This morning, the sound of the morning alarm was harsh reality for scores of employees throughout Wisconsin.  After celebrating a Packers Super Bowl victory late into the night (a bitter pill for this Bears fan to swallow!), they have no interest in dragging themselves out of bed and heading into work.  For employers, you need not be located … Continue Reading

As FMLA Absences Mount, the Employer Must Lay Down the Law

Cook County, Illinois (the county in which Chicago is located) currently faces one of the largest budget deficits in its government’s history.  So, when the Cook County Board president (Toni Preckwinkle) tells the County Sheriff (Tom Dart) to cut $70 million from his budget, it tends to grab people’s attention.  In this story, however, this … Continue Reading

Link Now Available: Webinar on Identifying, Managing and Preventing FMLA Abuse

Several weeks ago, I conducted a Webinar on “Identifying, Managing and Preventing FMLA Abuse.”  Thanks to those of you who attended — over 600 people from 44 states registered for the event.  We had a great discussion about common FMLA issues that continue to plague employers as they administer FMLA leave.  The Webinar centered around real-life … Continue Reading

Identifying, Managing & Preventing FMLA Abuse

In this webinar, Franczek Radelet partner and SHRP member Jeff Nowak and SHRP member Teri Hock identify the issues and address the questions surrounding the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), including: Identifying and understanding the most common forms of FMLA abuse Utilizing the changes in the FMLA regulations to help fight FMLA abuse Documenting … Continue Reading
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