FMLA question

Hi All,
I have an employee with chronic attendance problems - typically from calling out on Fridays and/or Mondays (and of course being spotted out and about around town, usually at a usual watering hole). She has been written up in the past and also dinged on her performance evaluations for her spotty attendance - I anticipate as we go through the progressive disciplinary process with her, this will eventually lead to her leaving our employ.

I was recently notified that she had been absent from work for 1 1/2 weeks (yes, and got notified after the fact - not happy!) and that she had undergone outpatient surgery which was supposed to be a quick procedure, and then didn't come back for an extra week afterwords. Once she returned I provided her the Form WH380E. Her provider filled out the form excusing her for the entire week and a half - no detail provided on the form, just stating she had "surgery" and to excuse for all days she was out.

Though I don't doubt the validity of her surgery, I am having difficulty in approving her entire string of absences for this reason. Should I contact her provider and ask for more detail?

Have any of you had similar situations? What do you advise? Thx!


  • 1 Comment sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Have you received any indication from the employee (or others) that the 1.5 week absence and all the "chronic" absences are related? If you think they might be, I would go back to the provider. It is perfectly reasonable for you to ask the provider for further clarification so that you can ascertain whether something is FMLA qualifying. You can also give the provider a list of dates the employee was absent and ask whether that absence pattern is usual and customary for the employee's serious health condition.

    If you do not have any indication that the absences are all related, I wouldn't worry about them, but I would still ask for more clarification from the physician on whether the absence is FMLA qualifying.

    Good luck!
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