Dealing with Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Abuse

Author: Stephen Hans
Hans & Associates,P.C.

Through approved FMLA leave of absences, companies allow employees to deal with chronic conditions, acute illnesses, pregnancies, or to care for ill loved ones. However, some employees abuse business owners by obtaining unwarranted leaves from work. When employees abuse FMLA rights, they create unnecessary and costly problems for employers and co-workers through absenteeism, overworked staff, a need for temporary workers, missed production deadlines, and eventually lost business.


The federal FMLA and New York Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) set parameters for family and medical leaves in New York, allowing employees 12 weeks of absence during the year to deal with medical issues, whether personal or regarding a family member.

Legal help with preventing FMLA abuse

As an employer, there are actions you can take to prevent abuse. NY FMLA uses a “rolling 12-month period” to calculate leave of absences. This means that out of the 12 weeks of yearly medical leave entitled to employees, time off is calculated from the previous 12-months, so that the total leave time does not exceed 12 weeks within a given 12-month period. Employers can ensure that an employee’s leave request meets rolling 12-month period calculations.

An experienced New York employment attorney can provide HR counseling for FMLA issues. Questions often arise, such as whether you can legally require workers to take paid vacation time before using their FMLA leave time or whether you can implement deadlines for medical certifications. Employment law firms can ensure solutions implemented are within your legal rights.

This entry was posted in Employers Sick Leave Act and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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