FMLA Surveillance of Employees

Surveillance assignments take on many forms. As this case study illustrates, we were hired to investigate several suspected cases of abuse of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

The Situation

A manufacturing facility had over 10% of their workforce file FMLA requests for time off. So on any given day, those same employees could call-in for FMLA. This unexpected loss in time taken by employees would cripple manufacturing and greatly increase the cost of production.

It was apparent that many of the requests were not necessary and some of the employees were not tending to the terms of their FMLA time-off request.

The Investigation: On-Location Surveillance

PHENIX Investigations was called on to perform on-location surveillance for each of the employees. Each morning, when any employee would call-in for FMLA, investigators would be contacted by the Human Resources Director. With employee files already in hand, investigators would travel to the neighborhoods to discreetly monitor each employee during the day.

Many of the employees were seen by investigators as they left their homes to golf, hunt, shop, ride motorcycles, and other activities. Clearly some of the employees were abusing the FMLA system.


The Resolution

Investigators gathered all of the information and compiled reports on each of the employees who were violating the terms of the FMLA agreements. With the help of Human Resources, all employees were interviewed. The employees who had violated the terms of their FMLA time-off agreements were either terminated or allowed to voluntarily resign (in lieu of legal action against them).

The union also sent out letters to all employees, directing them to not violate the FMLA time-off agreements. The business now has a normal ratio of FMLA time-off requests and the manufacturing is back to full profits.