Human Resources News & Insights

Fake FMLA leave verifications for $54?

Intermittent FMLA abuse is already a massive headache for employers. Now there are “deception services” that can actually help employees fake their way into additional time away from work.

Say “hello” to Paladin Deception Services. The company claims it can “put together almost any fictitious scenario that you require.” And it can do it for just $54.

That’s right. Your worst fears have been realized. That doctor’s office you’ll call next time Jack in Accounting claims to have a migraine flare up may not be a doctor’s office at all.

It could be an employee of Tim Green, founder of Paladin, on a local phone number established by the company to dupe you into thinking Jack’s receiving treatment — while he’s really out fishing with his buddies.

Most of Paladin’s business comes from providing fake references for job seekers who have sketchy pasts, according to a report on Paladin by the St. Paul Pioneer Press. But it’s not too hard to fathom a scenario like the one above coming to fruition.

After all, Paladin claims to be able to build a fictitious alibi or white lie package for just about anyone.

Some exceptions: It won’t make any false statements or provide fictitious references to law enforcement agencies, courts, banks, medical institutions, government agencies or fire departments.

The other catch: Paladin’s employees must assume the identities of people from fictitious companies to avoid claims of illegal representation.

Unethical? Maybe. Illegal? No.

Green admitted his workers will answer the phones posing as a business to provide a fake reference, a doctor to confirm someone needs a sick day or whatever his clients require, according to the Pioneer Press.

The scary thing is this all appears to be legal. Paladin’s been in business since 2009 and boasts having nearly 250 ongoing clients.

For the $54 service fee, Paladin’s employees will field an unlimited number of incoming calls for the phone number it creates for each deception. It’ll also establish an email address and dedicated voice mail box. And clients can maintain the deception for about $20 per month or add a second phone number for another $20.

One thing clients won’t get: falsified documentation.

Sorry, FMLA scammers. That means no faked FMLA certifications.

This story was originally published on our sister website, HRBenefitsAlert.com.

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