As an employer, do you ever feel like your employees take advantage of sick and/or medical leave policies and you have no recourse?
In a recent case, an employer implemented a policy that restricted an employee from leaving the immediate vicinity of their home during sick leave unless leaving for medical treatment or ordinary and necessary activities directly related to personal or family needs unless the employee received permission. When the employer discovered that an employee went on a one-week vacation to Cancun while on valid FMLA leave and receiving sick pay, the employee was terminated. The court sided with the employer stating that a policy which prevents employees from abusing leave is not prohibited unless it conflicts with or diminishes the rights provided by the FMLA.
In an overview of the case at Business Management Daily, three points that an employer can learn from this case include:
- Have a clear sickness and absenteeism policy
- Distribute the policy
- Enforce the policy evenhandedly
While a policy may not be a complete cure, it could the medicine you are looking for.