Human Resources News & Insights

Staffer not cooperating with certification requests? Here’s what to do

Employees don’t always make it easy for firms to approve their FMLA leave. When that happens, do what this company did.

Terry Poling was approved for intermittent FMLA leave for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome, a neurological condition that can cause severe burning pain, excessive sweating and tissue swelling.

In the months following, Poling never needed leave –his doctor’s appointments were in the day and he worked the night shift.

However, four months after being approved for leave, Poling called his firm one night and left a message saying, “Terry Poling, Night Shift, FMLA.” He did not come into work that night.

The company asked Poling for the requisite paperwork. When Poling didn’t turn in his certification in the required 15 days, the firm gave him another 15 days.

When he did turn in the certification, he didn’t provide enough info — so the company gave him an additional seven days to fix the certification.

When Poling failed to do that, the firm fired him.

Poling sued, but the court wasn’t having it – it was clear the company gave Poling more than enough chances to justify his need for leave.

Cite: Poling v. Core Molding Technologies. To read the full decision, go here.

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