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FMLA Abuse Case Study


A Client contacted ICS with concerns that an employee who was currently on the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) due to a back injury, was exaggerating the injury and abusing her leave. The Client had received information that the Subject may be performing work at her home, and/or engaging in other outdoor activities. Consequently, our Client was seeking to confirm that the Subject could move about unlabored and unaided and was falsely extending her leave time.


Summary:

A Client contacted ICS with concerns that an employee who was currently on the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) due to a back injury, was exaggerating the injury and abusing her leave.

The Subject’s doctor had documented her pain started at the beginning of the month and would most likely continue on for two to three more weeks. The doctor said Subject would be laid up for two weeks and would get physical therapy during that time. Restrictions were that the Subject was “unable to walk/sit for prolonged periods”. The Subject was set to see her doctor again in approximately one month.

The Client had received information that the Subject may be performing work at her home, and/or engaging in other outdoor activities. Consequently, our Client was seeking to confirm that the Subject could move about unlabored and unaided and was falsely extending her leave time.

The Client and ICS determined that the best course of action would be surveillance of the Subject for a period of 2-3 days to monitor her movements.

Conclusion:

On day one, surveillance was conducted in the morning hours, at the home of the Subject. Upon arrival there were no signs of activity within the house. The Subject’s car was observed on the street in front of the residence.

About two hours into surveillance, a spot-check of the residence was conducted and an individual matching the Subject’s description was moving about and working in the yard. The Subject was periodically observed and videotaped performing gardening tasks including watering, raking, and weeding.

On the second day of surveillance, the investigator arrived at the home of the Subject and again positioned himself with a view of the car and the front of the residence. There were no signs of activity until about 3 hours into surveillance.  At this time the investigator observed the Subject moving about the yard. The investigator began occasionally filming the subject moving around unaided and seemingly without pain. More than once the Subject bent 90 degrees at the waist, used a rake repeatedly, watered plants, and performed other unlabored movements in the front yard. Later the Subject then entered the house and there was no further activity.

What to do next:

Are you an employer and suspect your employees of abusing the Family and Medical Leave Act? Call ICS or contact us online to begin your FMLA Abuse Investigation today.

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