FMLA Intermittent Leave: Preventing Abuse While Mitigating Interference or Retaliation Claims

Establishing Effective Leave and Transfer Policies, Challenging Medical Certification, and Leveraging Defense Theories

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Thursday, June 8, 2017
Recorded event now available

This CLE webinar will provide employment counsel with the tools necessary to prevent employee abuse of intermittent leave while maintaining FMLA compliance. The panel will review appropriate leave and transfer policies, discuss challenges to medical certification, outline defense theories, and more.


One of the most daunting challenges employers face is preventing abuse of FMLA intermittent leave. Employers must navigate a delicate balance between preventing abuse and avoiding claims of interference or retaliation.

Employers have at their disposal many underutilized approaches to ensure FMLA claims are legitimate. One technique involves the medical certification process, and employment counsel must guide clients on when to require and/or challenge medical certifications.

Counsel should also guide employers in developing an effective leave policy that includes provisions on paid leave and the consequences for fraudulent FMLA claims. An employer’s failure to correctly implement these and other strategies may result in litigation and adverse rulings.

Listen as our distinguished panel reviews techniques to correctly prevent abusive FMLA intermittent leave claims. The panel will provide counsel with best practices to develop and implement strategies, maintain FMLA compliance, and prepare defense theories in interference or retaliation claims.


  1. Managing medical certification
    1. FMLA regulations
    2. Certification requirements employers may demand
    3. Recertification
    4. Demand for second and third medical opinions
  2. Effective leave policies
    1. Paid leave
    2. Call-in
    3. Employee location requirements during leave
    4. Misrepresentation and the honest belief defense
  3. Transfer of position
  4. Effective investigation techniques
  5. Defense strategies for litigating FMLA claims


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What techniques can employers utilize to prevent or effectively discourage FMLA intermittent leave abuse?
  • How can counsel guide employers in balancing abuse prevention strategies with FMLA leave requirements?
  • What are the substantive components of effective leave and medical certification policies?
  • How can counsel or employers conduct legally defensible investigations into doubtful intermittent leave claims?


Jeffrey S. Kopp, Partner
Foley & Lardner, Detroit

Mr. Kopp has represented and counseled clients in various labor and employment, FMLA, OFCCP and EEO compliance, unemployment, workers’ compensation leave, and noncompete and trade secret matters. He arbitrates traditional labor grievances and regularly provides employers with proactive employment counseling techniques to minimize the risk of litigation.

Evan H. Pontz, Partner
Troutman Sanders, Atlanta

Mr. Pontz specializes in employment and labor law matters, including discrimination litigation, traditional labor law issues, compliance counseling and preventative training. He represents companies in discrimination litigation involving sex, race, age, disability, sexual harassment, FMLA leave issues, wage and hour matters, and state law tort claims, as well as in labor arbitrations, contract negotiations, and in dealing with existing or potential unions.


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