Scruggs v. Carrier is an important Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) abuse case employers must study. It mainly tackles a key term in the FMLA: “honest suspicion.”
Darryl Scruggs, an employee of a Carrier plant in Indianapolis, filed leaves between 2004 and 2007, saying that he needed to assist his mother’s move to a nursing home. In 2006, Carrier stepped up its efforts to mitigate FMLA abuse by employees, and part of these efforts was to hire a private investigations company to conduct surveillance on nearly three dozen workers suspected of FMLA abuse, including Scruggs. Court documents showed that Scruggs never left the house when he filed for a leave supposedly to be with his mother at the nursing home.