patterns of FMLA abuse

Client

A large Northeast hospital system with 2,200 employees at various sites.  Prior to Work & Well, voluntary short-term disability and FMLA were handled internally by human resources/benefits and employee health departments.

Situation
An employee with a history of frequent absenteeism requests intermittent FMLA to care for her asthmatic son.

Action Taken
Work & Well approved the intermittent FMLA. However, after six weeks, we noticed the employee—who worked part-time Wednesday through Friday—was taking many Wednesdays and Fridays off.

Work & Well’s nurse case manager clarified with the employee’s physician, listing the days the employee missed and requested confirmation that the pattern was consistent with her son’s condition. The physician reported the absences were NOT consistent with the son’s condition and that he (the physician) had not seen the son for nearly eight months.

Work & Well requested that in the future, supporting documentation from the employee be required for each subsequent absence.

Results
The employee has not taken any intermittent FMLA time since this documentation was required.

Savings
The employee had a history of using nearly all her FMLA time in a given 12-month period. So in addition to saving the direct cost of each day out of work, the hospital reduced overtime and temporary personnel cost, increased productivity, and improved department morale.

Company-wide, Work & Well reduced time out of work by nearly 20% after one year. This resulted in an estimated annual savings of $400,000 in benefits, temporary help, and overtime costs.