Simple tactics arrest FMLA abuse during intermittent FMLA leave

by on January 23, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

FMLA Guidelines give you an arsenal to protect the company

Intermittent FMLA leave can be a big headache at many companies. Many managers suspect FMLA abuse because monitoring intermittent leave is so difficult with many opportunities to abuse the system.

Fortunately, you can reduce the numbers of problems with malingering on intermittent FMLA leave by reducing temptation.

That is, you want to put controls in place to arrest FMLA abuse and utilize the leave for medical recovery; not to catch a movie or go fishing

Prevent FMLA abuse before it happens

The key is to sit down with leave-takers before intermittent FMLA leave starts and communicate the expectations clearly.

Here is an approach to consider:

    1. Before leave starts, explain whether or not you are going to require regular recertification.

You can require the employee to supply monthly recertifications of the need for leave. That may not be necessary, but you may feel more secure in requiring recertification every so often. Regular reporting by the employee to you about the continuing need for FMLA reminds workers that intermittent FMLA time off isn’t a holiday-on-demand, but leave for a purpose: medical or family care.

    2. Find out upfront if the leave requirement can be filled off-hours.

FMLA guidelines state workers are not entitled to take leave for tasks and appointments that can be done after hours.

    3. Explain what you plan to do about wages or salary.

You may dock all employees for intermittent FMLA leave (including salary/exempt) For example, you may allow workers to make up lost time, or other workers to take work home.

  • 4. Clarify performance expectations.

Depending on the situation, you may want to adjust expectations – or not. The key is for you, the worker and the manager to know what the expectations are.

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