A colleague of mine was recently asking me this question and I couldn't figure out how to answer it...
As doctors, filling out paperwork for patients and family to get Family Medical Leave is something we sometimes have to do. My understanding (from the times I've done it for patients and taken it myself when I had a baby) is that it guarantees when you take no more than 12 weeks leave, your job will be safe.
My colleague was saying that if he discharges a patient to a nursing home or assisted living, he won't fill out FMLA paperwork for family members. Because the patient isn't going home, so why do they need to take a leave? They're taking advantage of the system!
I'm not sure how to respond. This isn't like giving someone a handicapped placard. This is an unpaid leave. A lot of people can't even afford to take 12 weeks off without a salary. So I figure if they want that, it's for a good reason.