Can an employer protect against FMLA abuse? What can the Watkins Firm do to assist with FMLA dispute resolution in San Diego and southern California? The Family Medical Leave Act or FMLA was originally enacted to ensure covered employers provided employees with unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons as well as job-protection status in these events. Unfortunately FMLA is often abused by employees who attempt to take advantage of the protections designed to support genuine emergencies when they are not approved for standard leave requests or other nefarious reasons.
The Watkins Firm advises our clients on how to implement changes to the employee handbook as well as company policies and procedures to reduce the incidence of FMLA abuse while increasing the company’s ability to enforce attendance and FMLA compliance. We help to reduce FMLA related disputes and lawsuits while improving the ability of our clients to improve employee attendance to meet their genuine business need.
It is possible to place responsibilities on those who are on FMLA leave, especially with intermittent cases. Common strategies for employees who wish to abuse FMLA protections include:
- Submitting an FMLA application in the midst of a disciplinary action and attempting to use it as a shield or to generate a dispute
- Claiming a suspicious qualifying health issue for themselves or a family member
- Employee’s claim of needing to serve as an FMLA caregiver for an immediate family member is not consistent with other evidence, social media posts or input from other employees
- Submitting an FMLA request immediately preceding a holiday or when other leave requests have been denied
Our FMLA attorneys work with our clients to develop changes to the company policies and procedures as well as the employee handbook and to ensure training of existing employees and management. These actions reduce the incidence of FMLA lawsuits and help us to provide prompt FMLA dispute resolution in San Diego and Southern California.
If you are in the midst of an FMLA dispute with an employee or have questions regarding tightening your FMLA or employment policies we invite you to contact us at 858-535-1511.