Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Call In Requirement Not Barred By FMLA

When you have the following policy, you know there must have been a history of sick leave abuse by a number of employees:

During regular working hours, when an employee is home on sick leave, the employee must notify the appropriate authority or designee when leaving home and upon return. An employee is to remain at home except for personal needs related to the reason for being on sick leave. While on sick leave an employee may be called or visited by a sick leave investigator unless the employee has 150 days or more of accumulated sick leave credit.

This must be a city thing, as the only other case I remember seeing it in, also involved a city government.

In Callison v. City of Philadelphia (3rd Cir. 5/20/05) [pdf] the Court rejected the employee's argument that his suspensions for violation of this policy was prohibited by the FMLA. The Court's view was simple:

In granting the City’s motion for summary judgment, the District Court found that the City’s sick leave policy requiring an employee on leave to “call the Sick Leave Hotline when leaving home during regular working hours does not conflict with any substantive provisions of the FMLA.” ... Further, the Court reasoned that the purpose of the FMLA is not compromised by this policy because it “neither prevents employees from taking FMLA leave nor discourages employees from taking such leave. It simply ensures that employees do not abuse their FMLA leave.” We agree.

And not that anyone really cares, but so do I.


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