Q & A Session – Use of Facebook as Evidence against FMLA Status


Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.


I have had managers and co-workers complain that employees that have called off Intermittent Family Leave and Medical Act (FMLA) or are on a Straight/Continuous FMLA posting on Facebook that they are shopping, going to the gym, out partying, on vacation, drinking, or “pulled one over on the boss” on their Facebook pages. If they are on an approved FMLA and have provided appropriate medical documentation under the employer’s FMLA or Leave policy, does the employer have the right to deny the FMLA or discipline the employee for misuse of FMLA?


If the employee’s Facebook activity shows that the FMLA documentation is a sham, the employee on a FMLA absence may have a problem. Beware what you post on Facebook. Beware what you say in emails. Both can be used as evidence to destroy a career.

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.

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About Author

Debra Roth

Debra L. Roth is a partner at the law firm Shaw Bransford & Roth, a federal employment law firm in Washington, D.C. She is general counsel to the Senior Executives Association and the Federal Managers Association, host of the “FEDtalk” program on Federal News Radio, and a regular contributor to Federal News Radio’s “Federal Drive” morning show. Email your legal questions to lawyer@federaltimes.com.

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