FMLA Abuse Investigation:
As the 7th Circuit recently explained in Scruggs v. Carrier Corporation (2012), “an employer can defeat an interference claim by showing, among other things, that the employee did not take leave ‘for the intended purpose.’ In the 7th Circuit, because an employee has ‘no greater right to reinstatement or to other benefits and conditions of employment than if the employee had been continuously employed,’ an employer need only show that ‘it refused to reinstate the employee based on an “honest suspicion” that she was abusing her leave.’”
WHAT IS FMLA?
Congress passed the Family and Medical Leave Act in 1993. The law is design to care for themselves or a member of their immediate family when they have medical needs like Pregnancy, Chemotherapy, Alzheimer’s, and more.
FMLA allows the qualified employees to take off up to 12 weeks of work in a 12-month period and not lose their job. The employer is not required to pay the employee for the entire 12-week period; however, they must keep the employee’s job. Only companies with 50 or more employees are required to comply with the FMLA provisions.
INVESTIGATING FMLA ABUSES:
The law itself has few provisions to help curb FMLA abuse. It does allow the employer to require the employee to provide medical certification to validate their need for medical leave; however many of the covered illnesses are chronic medical conditions that wouldn’t necessarily prevent the employee from continuing to work. Surveillance can be a very effective tool at reducing FMLA abuse in the workplace, but you must exercise caution.
1. Use a reputable investigations firm that has significant experience performing workers compensation and FMLA surveillance.
2. You need to consider the employee’s medical condition and limitations to determine what activity may be observed during surveillance.
5 Ways To Stop FMLA Abuses
FMLA To Do List 2014
Surveillance Monitoring of FMLA Abuses