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Oct05

FMLA & Tardiness

If the medical certification does not address tardiness for FMLA…can it be denied? What steps can be taken if there is significant tardiness but the certification provided does not state that the TM should/would be tardy?

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles covered, eligible employees to take twelve workweeks in a twelve month period of unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. Eligible employees are allowed to take FMLA leave for both unforeseen emergencies and planned absences involving the care and bonding with a newborn, adopted, or foster child; and to care for oneself or immediate family member with a serious health condition.

FMLA leave may be taken intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule under certain circumstances. Under FMLA regulations, there must be a medical need for such a leave and it must be that the medical need is best accommodated by an intermittent or reduced schedule leave. The medical certification submitted to the employer must address the medical necessity for intermittent leave and state the estimated frequency of the leave. If the initial medical certification doesn’t state the need for intermittent leave, the employer may request recertification to substantiate the need for more frequent absences including tardiness as intermittent leave.

As long as the absences/lateness are verified by the medical certification and covered under the FMLA, the employee cannot be denied the time off or disciplined for them. However, if the employee is unable to provide a medical certification substantiating the need for intermittent leave under the FMLA, the absences are considered unexcused and normal disciplinary procedures should be followed. If this ends up being the case, it’s important to have clear documentation given to the employee stating that the absences are not covered under the FMLA. It would also be a good idea to have a documented conversation with the employee ensuring he is aware the absences are not covered and he will be subject to disciplinary actions if further lateness occurs.

This entry was posted on Sunday, October 5th, 2014 at 8:31 pm and is filed under
Human Resources Management, Labor Laws.
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