The Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) permits eligible employees to take up to 12 work weeks of leave during a 12-month period if a serious health condition makes the employee unable to perform the functions of his or her position. When an employer suspects that an employee is abusing the FMLA leave, employers may feel caught in a classic Catch-22. They can ignore the abuse and operate with a reduced workforce, or subject themselves to an interference or defamation suit if they decide to challenge or confront the employee about the questionable leave.
If an employer suspects FMLA abuse, the first step in curtailing that abuse is to review the employees’ eligibility for FMLA leave. Oftentimes employers (or their HR managers) do not distinguish between employees who qualify for it and those that do not. To be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must:
Be employed at a worksite within…
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