After being terminated, a plaintiff filed an FMLA retaliation claim; however, she could not prove any improper employer conduct, only improper conduct on her part. The plaintiff’s untimely documentation under the FMLA resulted in her eventual termination, which the court then upheld. It also rejected any argument of “intermittent leave,” because this was not indicated in the FMLA certification or by agreement.
A note from the court to the wise:
“Employers facing questionable certifications have two preferable options: 1) they can require the employee to obtain a second opinion from a different provider at the employer’s expense; or, 2) after granting the employee the opportunity to correct any shortcomings, they can obtain the employee’s permission to clarify or authenticate a questionable certification with the original health care provider. Although these measures are discretionary, utilizing them would avoid the factual disputes and questions of reasonableness that conceivably arise from the employer’s decision to classify an FMLA request as facially invalid without first working with the employee to resolve any discrepancies.”
Click here to read this case, a classic example of the FMLA gone wrong.