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FMLA and areas for potential abuse

We are a sub-50 person company, and are considering implementing FMLA as we are funded to grow past the 50 person level, and will likely need to implement soon regardless. Also, we generally like the ideas around FMLA, and it seems like a positively regarded benefit. Question: as we move forward, what are the areas where we should be concerned (financially, operationally, etc)? Specifically, are there areas where FMLA sometimes gets abused, and what preventative measures should we consider so that this remains a positive benefit?

Answers

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

From my limited voluntary adherence to FMLA the area of abuse would be medical reasons needed (as opposed to maternity and fatherhood leave).

In line with the law and working with appropriate counsel, outline what is and isn't included. The law stipulates (among other requirements):

"To care for a spouse, son, daughter, or parent who has a serious health condition;
• For a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions
of his or her job; or
• For any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that a spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a military member on covered active duty or call to covered active duty status. " -http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs28.pdf

So a definition of "serious" needs to be established.

Topic Expert
Keith Perry
Title: Consulting CFO and Business Operations A..
Company: Growth Accelerator
(Consulting CFO and Business Operations Advisor, Growth Accelerator) |

AHA! Thanks. I love vagueness in the law (not). Great feedback, Wayne.

Anonymous
(Controller) |

Abuse is not much of a problem. People need to work and will work if they can. The problems I have had with them was more to do with daily attendance, not leaves of absence.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

Daily attendance is an easy fix. They eat up earned time, forfeit pay and then get fired. Each step you've documented the process and the warnings to the employee.

FMLA is much trickier problem to solve because of the language used in the law (see prior answer).

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