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Dec29

Employee falsifying company documents

In Tennessee we have an employee who is on FMLA and has falsified documents on company letterhead. We have a right to terminate even though she’s on FMLA, yes or no?

Yes, in Tennessee or any other state (possible exception: California) you have the right to terminate this employee.

Being on FMLA leave does not give an employee a license to lie, cheat and steal. An employer can take any action against an employee on FMLA leave, that the employer would have taken anyway, had the employee not been on FMLA. However, the employer cannot terminate an employee (or take any negative job action) simply because the employee uses FMLA leave.

Examples: Trina is on FMLA leave after the birth of her baby. During the 3rd week of Trinas leave, her employer learns that Trina has been stealing petty cash from the safe. There is no doubt that Trina is the person responsible because Trina was caught on tape and even admits the thefts. The employer can terminate Trina immediately, even though she is on FMLA leave.

Ron is on FMLA leave for baby bonding after the birth of his child. Rons employer thinks this is silly, and decides to fire Ron for taking FMLA. Or, the employer simply prefers Rons replacement, who is a buxom blonde. In either case, it would be illegal for Rons employer to terminate him.

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This entry was posted on Monday, December 29th, 2008 at 10:53 am and is filed under
Human Resources Management, Termination.
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3 Responses to “Employee falsifying company documents”

  1. FMLA law Family Medical Leave Act update, Latest cases on FMLA Law : FMLA Law News Update 12/29 Says:

    [...] » Employee falsifying company documents Human Resource Blog Being on FMLA leave does not give an employee a license to lie, cheat and steal. An employer can take any action against an employee on FMLA leave, that the employer would have taken anyway, had the employee not been on FMLA. … Human Resource Blog – http://www.humanresourceblog.com/ [...]

  2. Matt Jones Says:

    If an employee lies about his marital status on his fmla paperwork is this just cause to terminate them employee?

  3. hrlady Says:

    Hi Matt,
    Some companies are very strict about falsifying company records and may immediately terminate an employee who does so. Other companies will issue a warning to the employee. Though not required, the employer should show due diligence by meeting with the employee first to discuss the issue and how it affects the leave request. For example, if the employee stated he was married and needed leave to care for his sick wife when he’s not actually married, then such falsification would warrant at least disciplinary action and possible termination. The FMLA doesn’t entitle an employee to lie.

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