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Baby Bump was Askew

Has a more amazing phrase ever been uttered?

When an employee takes leave under the FMLA after the birth of a child for the purpose of bonding, the employer is not permitted to ask for a medical certification. They can ask for proof of the relationship, just not the medical certification that's traditionally required when an employee takes leave.

Check your facts! Fact Sheet #28Q states exactly that. "Employers may not request a certification for FMLA leave to bond with a newborn child or a child placed for adoption or foster care."

In the past, when the subject of leave for bonding after the birth of a child has come up, I remind HR and managers that we cannot request a medical certification. I then make a lame joke like, "Hey, that person is clearly pregnant, you really need a doctor's note? What? Are they faking it?" The accompanying photo for this blog is me and my childhood best friend acting out our pregnancy backaches. We are clearly pregnant (and suffering by the way, feel free to send presents to make us feel better). No way we could fake that level of dramatic discomfort.

But guess what? Employees are undefeated in finding a way to not work and get paid. Many of us read this story. Robin Folsom from Georgia faked a pregnancy and got paid leave. The smoking gun was her co-worker observing that her pregnant stomach seemed to be "detached from her body". From there, co-workers noticed that the pictures of her baby seemed "inconsistent".

Folsom faces three counts of making false statements and one count of identity fraud.

So, what have we learned? Anything is possible. Assume nothing and don't ask for the medical certification, but maybe ask for something. Also, never underestimate the lengths someone will go to in order to get that paycheck but take a nice, long leave.

Kori Amos, Has a more amazing phrase ever been uttered? licensed under CC BY 4.0

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