Employee's Facebook photos end her FMLA claim

In this digital age with technology changing every day, individuals and businesses are becoming more reliant on computers and mobile devices. Social media is also on the rise, which is something that companies should remain aware of.

Advantage Health Physician Network encountered such an issue when an employee posted photos on her Facebook page that were in contradiction with her claims of being unable to work. Back in August 2009, Sara Jaszczyszyn saw her doctor about a recurrence of back pain related to a prior car accident and two surgeries. Her physician found her to be unable to work, and Advantage submitted a Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) certification. 

However, in October, Jaszczyszyn attended a Polish festival. A friend posted photos of the event on Facebook. Another Advantage worker saw the photos and brought it to the attention of a supervisor as Jaszczyszyn appeared to be dancing and not in pain.

Advantage terminated her employment, citing FMLA fraud. Jaszczyszyn then sued for alleged retaliation under the FMLA, but the court ruled in favor of Advantage. 

According to the court's ruling, Advantage was right in considering workplace fraud [FMLA] to be a serious issue.

"Advantage's investigation was adequate and turned in large part on Jaszczyszyn's own behavior at the termination interview, which she does not address at all. She did not refute Advantage's honest belief that her behavior in the photos was inconsistent with her claims of total disability."

In situations like this, it's important for employers to be protected against fraudulent claims. Legal fees can become increasingly expensive, and a comprehensive worker's compensation policy can be beneficial for companies of all sizes. Commercial insurance specialists can help business owners find the best policy for their daily operations.

 

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