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12-Dec-2019 13:06

Congress also should make it easier for employers to verify the seriousness of an employee's condition and strictly define a "serious medical condition" so that routine conditions such as a cold or stress are not used to justify leave. Experience with the FMLA shows that laws can have significant unintended consequences, even when they are passed with the best of intentions. In particular: Congress should pass legislation to correct such abuses and restore the act to its original purpose. Changes could include allowing employers to require workers to take leave in half-day increments and to count FMLA leave against attendance bonus policies. These and similar consequences of the act become clear after a review of the public comments submitted to the Department of Labor. Contents Introduction Chapter 1: Vague Definition of a Serious Health Condition Chapter 2: FMLA Leave Used to Excuse Tardiness Chapter 3: FMLA Used to Avoid Undesirable Work Chapter 4: Suspicious Leave Patterns Chapter 5: Openly Abusive Leave Chapter 6: Coworkers Must Pick Up the Slack Chapter 7: FMLA Misuse Disrupts Operations and Hurts Customers Chapter 8: Bonus and Rewards Programs Cut Chapter 9: Difficult to Communicate with Doctors Chapter 10: Certification Form Confusing Chapter 11: Administrative Burden of FMLAConclusion Introduction Requiring employers to provide employees with unpaid leave when they or a family member have a serious medical condition appears both compassionate and commonsense. These workers have no medical reason for showing up to work late; they simply want to avoid discipline for tardiness. Congress never intended for workers to misuse the act this way.

Yet irresponsible workers now use FMLA leave to avoid punishment for tardiness. Some irresponsible workers misuse the Family and Medical Leave Act to avoid the consequences of showing up to work late. They obtain a doctor's certification for a chronic condition and will claim they need FMLA leave when they run late in the morning. Companies have good reasons to require work­ers to show up on time. Late arrivals can disrupt production, inconvenience customers, and hurt morale.

Yet irresponsible workers now use FMLA leave to avoid punishment for tardiness. Some irresponsible workers misuse the Family and Medical Leave Act to avoid the consequences of showing up to work late. They obtain a doctor's certification for a chronic condition and will claim they need FMLA leave when they run late in the morning. Companies have good reasons to require work­ers to show up on time. Late arrivals can disrupt production, inconvenience customers, and hurt morale. In other cases, employees take FMLA leave for ailments that are far from "serious medical conditions." When this happens, their work is often dumped on coworkers or left undone. On December 1, 2006, the Department of Labor's Employment Standards Administration/Wage and Hour Division undertook a review of the Family and Medical Leave Act.