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Employers push back on FMLA abuse with “honest suspicion”

Use of ‘honest suspicion’ defense gains ground

In an effort to root out employee abuse of Family and Medical Leave Act violations, employers are increasingly relying upon the “honest suspicion” defense – and winning. Led by several decisions from the 7th Circuit, courts are holding that employers who terminate workers suspected of exploiting their time off do not violate the FMLA if they have an “honest suspicion” or “honest belief” the leave was being abused.