disturbed employee

What would you do with an employee who has severe anxiety/depression and continues to come to work, can't function, and ultimately disrupts several people with their medical issues?

The woman has been approved for intermittent FMLA yet comes to work, totally falls apart, seeks out several people to help her, then has to be taken by ambulance to the emergency room. Today was the third time in two weeks this has happened. The FMLA paperwork states she is to stay home when she needs to, but this isn't happening.

I told her to contact her doctor, and not to come back to work until she gets her issues resolved because we can't keep disrupting our workforce and sending her to the hospital. I get the feeling her family doesn't know how bad the situation is.

What recourse do we have at this point?


  • 5 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • We just went through a similar situation with an employee. Our first course of action was to recommend that she seek out the services offered in our EAP. When that didn't resolve things, we ended up taking a closer look at the FMLA physician's certification. We asked the physician to look at a copy of the EEs job description and attendance record, and do another certification, because the EEs behavior was not consistent with what the physician recommended initially. This is allowed under FMLA rules even if earlier than 30 days if the original certification appears to be no longer in effect. The physician ended up taking the EE off of work for 12 weeks, and we asked for a very specific RTW note.

    This is a difficult situation - I wish you the best!
  • This may seem harsh but you do have the option of addressing this as a performance issue. FMLA allows an employee time off for medical reasons. It does not an employee to disrupt the work of other employees. Something to think about.
  • I agree with Sharon - this needs to be dealt with from a performance/disciplinary standpoint and the EE needs to come to you asking for some type of accomodation or additional time off work. What you did in this instance was give the EE an excuse for unexcusable behavior and you are assuming that her performance issues are due to her medical condition, which COULD make her disabled under the ADA.

    I would recommend that you deal with this from a disciplinary/performance standpoint - follow your procedures accordingly, and wait to see what she says. You are not a doctor - you do not KNOW the reason(s) behind her behavior so stop assuming.
  • Is she (otherwise) a good employee?
  • She's a good employee so we don't want to lose her. However, we went through this last year although it wasn't as bad as this year.

    She is off work for now so hopefully she's getting the help she needs. Her husband told me she's in the hospital.
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