How would you handle this one?

The situation:

A 5 year plus employee who has submitted his resignation effective Sept. 20th (he is leaving to go back to college) went on FMLA in July.

His condition is chronic back pain with periodic flareups. His position is in our grounds department which is a fairly physical job. He has been allowed intermittent FMLA leave to go home early and rest if his back is acting up.

Last week he missed several full days of work with no contact. He does not have a phone so he is supposed to e-mail his supervisor if he is in too much pain to come to work.

Twice I went to his house and he was there. He said he was having a flare up and had been in bed all morning.

Complication A: this EE has a substance abuse past and recently was given $700 cash for schooling. The cash came right before the absences started.

Complication B: this EE filed a WC claim in May that was denied by our insurance company.

Complication C: this EE is not outright dishonest but has a history of manipulation and attendance issues.

What would you do?


  • 8 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • You can't assume he is using the money for drugs or is lying to you. If his paperwork is up to date, he qualifies.

    Not calling in is another issue. He is supposed to email if he can't come in. Do you let others slide, or do you discipline for not following your policy? Whichever it is, handle this employee the same way.

    In the meantime, I recommend chocolate to help you deal with the irritation of knowing you are being taken for a ride and being helpless to do anything about it. At least your frustration will be temporary, whereas this employee will remain unhappy as long as he continues to abuse any trust placed in him.
  • Are there any guidelines on when/how an ee is supposed to notify the employer that they want to use intermittent FMLA?
  • Employees should follow customary call-in procedures for any absence, including FMLA approved.

  • What is your current no-call no-show policy?
  • We dont have a "no call, no show" policy to speak of. Its not been an issue.
  • But maybe its an issue now. So does anyone have a "no call, no show" policy that is effective but also some flexibility for unusual circumstances?
  • ......


    The goal for all employees is to report to work and work their assigned schedule 100 percent of the time. However, illness and emergencies will occur from time to time. Therefore it is the Company’s expectation that employees be present at work 95 percent of their scheduled work hours. Unscheduled absences resulting in an absenteeism rate above 5 percent in a quarter will lead to corrective action; once in the corrective action process, two incidents during any of the following four quarters (beginning with the date of the most recent corrective action) may result in further corrective action up to and including termination of employment.


    Employees are also expected to notify their immediate supervisor (or designated department representative) of any absence prior to the beginning of their shift. The first occurrence of failing to notify a supervisor will result in counseling. Further occurrences will result in a warning and then termination of employment. Proper notification is required however such notification does not exclude the absence from being calculated into the employee’s absenteeism rate.


    I'm sure you can simplify this, but the idea is the rules are stated and each case is looked at individually. (It leads to corrective action, but we can be flexible with the corrective action depending upon the excuse.)
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