Recently, Constangy partner, Robin Shea, spoke with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) on issues pertaining to sick leave abuse. It can be challenging for human resource professionals to identify when employees are misusing sick time and even more difficult to address the issue. However, through policy review and enforcement, employers can proactively deal with sick leave abuse before it becomes a major issue for the company.

Signs of sick leave abuse may sometimes include regularly taking sick days that extend weekends or holidays or taking an abnormal number of sick days without obvious symptoms or a legitimate reason. Robin suggests that policy revision may sometimes be required to ensure employees cannot exploit loopholes and that sick leave policies should give supervisors the right to request a doctor's note if abuse is suspected. She also suggests providing a limited number of paid sick days on an honor system with a year-end payout or yearly rollover for unused days.

Robin Shea is a partner out of Constangy's Winston-Salem office with more than 30 years of experience counseling organizations on employment matters. She regularly represents employers before government agencies and in employment litigation involving the ADA, FMLA, Title VII, the ADEA, and the EPA. She is also the editor-in-chief of Constangy's legal bulletins and its four blogs - Affirmative Action AlertCalifornia SnapshotCyber Advisor, and Employment & Labor Insider. 

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