Firing alleged FMLA 'liar'? Investigate first.

Generally, employers can fire employees they believe lied about their need for FMLA leave. But here's an important caveat: You must act in good faith and show you conducted an investigation into whether the employee was entitled to leave or not. A quick-trigger termination could lead to an employee's quick legal response.

Recent case: When Rick, a respiratory therapist, argued with his boss about scheduling, the boss told him to "Suck it up, buttercup!" Soon after, Rick requested FMLA leave for arthritis flare-ups and back pain. The hospital approved his request.

While Rick was on FMLA leave, he attended an industry conference. HR found out and fired him, never inquiring about whether he was following doctor's restrictions...

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