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During tough economic times, when employee productivity is vital, employers may need to be especially cautious regarding employee abuse of leave rights. This is especially so during the fall and holiday season when employees may be looking to obtain a few extra days off in whatever way they can. The intricate web of employee rights and employer obligations under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) makes this area ripe for abuse. Contributing to the potential confusion are rights to unpaid leave as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and any State-based rights that might exist. For example, the Wisconsin FMLA provides different leave substitution and time allotments for unpaid leave rights than federal law.

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