FMLA Abuse: Identify, Fight, And Prevent Leave Fraud In Your Organization
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The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects employees from losing their jobs if they have to take time off for certain qualifying reasons such as their own serious health condition or that of a family member’s. It may sound simple—but it’s not.
Recently, there has been an excess of FMLA-related lawsuits. Along with this jump also comes an increased number of FMLA leave requests that are most likely the result of more public awareness of the law. Although family and medical leave remains one of HR’s biggest challenges, the regulations and recent court rulings provide paths for fighting back against the abuse.
For example, a recent decision by the Fourth Circuit confirmed that if an employer investigated and discovered FMLA fraud by an employee, they could lawfully terminate them. In another case, the Sixth Circuit confirmed that an employer could lawfully terminate an employee who had pictures on social media revealing she was not using FMLA for permissible purposes.
Employers must comply with their obligations under the FMLA while vigilantly remaining alert to potential FMLA abuse. Walking the compliance tripwire raises many questions, such as:
Join us on when attorney John S. Gannon offers practical advice on what measures you can take to identify FMLA fraud, discourage it from happening, or put a stop to it if it does happen.
- If you suspect your employee is claiming FMLA for non-qualifying reasons, what can you do?
- How do you handle the employee who always takes FMLA intermittent leave around the weekends or near holidays?
- How far can and should you go when taking steps to determine if an employee is abusing his or her FMLA right?
- When is it okay to get second opinions on medical decisions?
- What about asking for recertification? And is it ever worth hiring a private investigator?
- Who’s a covered family member and a “spouse”?
About your Presenter:
- Keys to identifying FMLA abuse (patterns of time off, etc.)
- How to lawfully use surveillance and social media to investigate suspicious FMLA use
- New laws and regulations from federal or state agencies that may affect FMLA monitoring
- How much time is enough time to establish a pattern of abuse
- The importance of training frontline supervisors on FMLA policies
- When to get a second opinion to determine whether the employee/family member has a serious health condition
- Once an employee is certified for FMLA, when is it legally acceptable to require recertification
- Call-in policies and procedures as a means to control intermittent leave
- The importance of requiring notice before time off
- Keeping communication open with employees using FMLA—ask about their status periodically
John S. Gannon, Esq.
Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C.
John S. Gannon is an associate with Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C., and practices in the firm’s Springfield, Massachusetts office. John regularly defends employers against claims of discrimination, retaliation, harassment, and wrongful termination, as well as actions arising under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and wage & hour law. He also has experience with lawsuits seeking to enforce restrictive covenants and protect trade secrets. John frequently assists employers in litigation avoidance strategies. He has reviewed numerous employee handbooks and related polices for compliance, as well as employment and non-compete agreements. He has also conducted comprehensive wage & hour and employment practices audits. He will regularly counsel employers on compliance with state and federal laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, and Occupational Health and Safety Act. John is a regular contributor to business publications and to the Massachusetts Employment Law Letter. He also is a frequent speaker on employment-related legal topics for a wide variety of associations and organizations, including appearances on Western Mass News and the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly podcast sessions.
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|Keywords For This Course:|
FMLA abuse, patterns of abuse, fraud, intermittent medical leave, pregnancy disability, military leave, medical treatments, ADA, recertification, second opinion, weekends and holidays
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