How can I request proof for what an employee says is medically necessary leave?

I have an employee who for the last three years has had the worst luck I have ever seen: Two house break-ins, stolen car, stolen boat, allergic food reactions, and the list goes on. Every incident required a Friday off. Two weeks ago she did not show up for two days because of a hurricane threat that never hit and only closed public schools--not public services, public offices, banks, malls, etc.

Today she claims that she has a women's condition that is going to require treatment on Fridays for the next 52-70 weeks! How can I as a small business owner (10 employees) legally ask for proof?
Bad luck can befall the best of us, but the fact that it keeps occurring on Fridays smells very fishy. As a woman myself, I'm hard-pressed to think of a medical condition that requires all-day Friday treatments only, but where I’ll be perfectly fine Monday through Thursday.

How do you ask for proof? Just ask. Get a doctor's note on the doctor's stationery. This alleged condition essentially means that this employee is only intending to work a four-day week for the next . . . one to two years. Can your business afford to pay her full-time for less than full-time work? As an employer with only 10 employees, you do not meet the thresholds where the federal employment laws would apply.

You may have a number of options at your disposal. You may be able to fire her, reduce her salary or work out a telecommuting arrangement where she works from home on the weekend (to make up for the Friday she'll be missing. Speak to a local employment attorney to determine your options under federal and state law.
Entrepreneur Coaching
Entrepreneur Coaching
START, RUN, or GROW your business with step-by-step help from our coaches! Get Started
View Comments (0)