Employers, if you’re seeing a seasonal surge in family and medical leave requests, you should start looking for signs of FMLA abuse in your workforce. Here’s a quick checklist you can use when reviewing FMLA requests around the holidays:
1) Denied PTO request?
Did the employee already ask for paid time off close to a holiday, and have that request denied?
2) Out of PTO?
Has the employee run out of PTO hours for 2013?
3) FMLA requests close to other holidays?
Does the employee have a pattern of asking for family or medical leave adjacent to paid holidays?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, you should examine the request carefully to ensure it is appropriately supported by the employee’s new or pre-existing certification. If you are seeing a suspicious pattern, you may be able to ask for recertification.
Remember that the holiday season is truly stressful for some people, especially for individuals with personal or financial problems. Some medical conditions flare up under stressful conditions, so keep this in mind when reviewing FMLA requests.
If you’re looking for clearly defined guidance on what laws and regulations allow you to challenge employee claims, such as asking for recertification or following up with an employee on specific absences, LeaveAdvisor™ is a good place to start. Learn more about LeaveAdvisor™.