The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) does allow employers to require appropriate documentation to support a leave request, as well as periodic reports on the employee's status and intent to return to work.
Questioning the staffer's honesty could be interpreted as retaliation, which is prohibited. Concerns about the leave should be directed to HR, not the employee.
The FMLA provides that covered employers must grant an eligible staffer up to a total of 12 work weeks in any given 12-month period for a number of family/medical reasons, including to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition.
The FMLA does not require that an employee have a record of satisfactory attendance or performance; nor can prior use, or abuse, of past time off be considered. If the employee has exhausted his or her paid time off, then the leave may by unpaid.
Mike Marino is an independent HR consultant.
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