Tag Archives: Medical Certification

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and the FMLA: Are Your Employees Eligible for Leave During a Natural Disaster?

Our thoughts and prayers are with those in Texas and Louisiana whose lives have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey and those in Florida in the dangerous path of Hurricane Irma.  Join us sending a donation to those organizations performing rescue operations and providing much needed help to our fellow Americans in need. Natural disasters like … Continue Reading

Join Me for a Free Webinar: "FMLA Abuse Got You Down? Best Practices for Using FMLA Medical Certification as a Tool to Deter FMLA Misuse"

When: Tuesday, November 15, 2016 (12:00 – 1:15 p.m. central time) Online registration: Click here FMLA Medical certification can be the most effective tool to help employers confirm an employee’s medical condition and their need for time off from work. So, why does such a critical tool tend to create angst, confusion and frustration for … Continue Reading

FMLA FAQ: Must an Employer Accept FMLA Medical Certification from an Online Health Care Provider? And What If It's an LCPC?

Q: Our employee is trying to support his need for FMLA leave with medical certification from an online health care provider. Is this valid under the FMLA?  And What if It’s a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor?  A: Tackling the online doctor issue first, my knee-jerk reaction is NO WAY! After all, the FMLA regulations make clear that … Continue Reading

FMLA FAQ: What if the Doctor Refuses to Use the Employer's FMLA Medical Certification Form? And They Want to Charge a Fee for It?

A couple of clients have asked me recently whether a health care provider can use his/her own medical certification form or “doctor’s note” to support the employee’s need for FMLA leave, or can we require the HCP to use the employer’s form. Or what if the HCP charges a fee to complete the form?  What … Continue Reading

Can Employees Be Disciplined When They Exceed the Frequency or Duration on Their FMLA Medical Certification?

One of the biggest headaches for employers when administering FMLA leave is how to deal with the employee who exceeds the frequency or duration identified on the employee’s medical certification. Nearly all of these situations involve intermittent leave, which is the type of leave most frequently abused by employees. Take, for example, Joe, who suffers from irritable … Continue Reading

Employer's Lack of FMLA Compliance in Handling FMLA Leave Request is a Lesson for the Rest of Us

Want a glimpse into a world where an employer fails to maintain a legally compliant leave management process?  Let me warn you — what you are about to read is not pretty and not for the faint of heart. The Facts Rachna was a resident physician at St. Vincent Health Center.  She also had a … Continue Reading

The Best of 2014: Sending FMLA Notices by Mail/Email, Requiring Doctor's Notes for Intermittent FMLA Absences Among Most Popular Posts This Year

It’s the final week of the year, so while everyone else in the world is playing with their latest version of iPhone and other new electronic gadgets, I spend my time analyzing this year’s FMLA blog posts and agonizing over how I can deliver the FMLA to your virtual door in an even more efficient … Continue Reading

What Employers Can Learn from Physicians When It Comes to Administering the FMLA

Earlier this month, I took one for the team.  And I survived.  I had the privilege of presenting to a number of employers and health care providers at the annual “Impairment Without Disability” conference, an event sponsored by Mayo Clinic which brings physicians and employers together to share their common knowledge, experiences and goals, and work … Continue Reading

FMLA FAQ: Can an Employer Require a Doctor's Note for Each Intermittent FMLA Absence?

Over the past few weeks, I have had the pleasure of presenting on complex FMLA issues for attorneys and HR professionals attending several seminars sponsored by the National Employment Law Institute (NELI), which puts on some of the best employment law seminars in the country (my session, of course, being a drag on their success!). … Continue Reading

FMLA FAQ: Can an Employer Designate FMLA Leave When an Employee Refuses to Provide Medical Certification?

I received a ton of feedback last week in response to my post about whether an employee can decline FMLA leave even though the absence qualifies under the Act. One question, in particular, was thrown at me repeatedly, and it went something like this: In our workplace, when an employee doesn’t want to take FMLA … Continue Reading

Join Me for an FMLA Webinar: "Conquering the FMLA Medical Certification Process: Best Practices for Employers"

It’s webinar time!  FMLA Medical certification is designed to help employers better understand an employee’s medical condition and their need for time off from work. So, why does such a helpful tool tend to create angst, confusion and frustration within the employer community? Let’s tackle medical certification head on! Please join us on Thursday, December … Continue Reading

Take 2: Does Annual FMLA Certification First Require an Employee's Absence?

The feedback from last week’s blog post on annual FMLA certification came fast and furious.  Most of it was complimentary (thank you!), but several of my fellow FMLA nerds raised an interesting issue.  They noted that the FMLA regulation covering “annual” certifications does not specifically state that the certification in the new FMLA year must … Continue Reading

DOL Busts Employer for Requiring Annual Medical Certification without Leave Request

The DOL is on a roll, and employers can’t be amused. Over the past few months, the Department of Labor seemingly has issued statement after statement after statement announcing settlements it has reached with various employers in conjunction with alleged FMLA violations. Heck, DOL now even has its own blog highlighting its recent FMLA enforcement. [Hey, … Continue Reading

I Believe My Employee is Unfit to Return to Work. Can I Require a Full Medical Examination Before His Return?

Have you ever doubted whether one of your employees actually was fit to return to work from a leave of absence?   Take this situation I counseled a client through a few months back: one of their employees texted a suicide note — to about 40 of his co-workers.  Not surprisingly, it turned the workplace … Continue Reading

How Can Congress Improve the FMLA? Let's Count the Ways...

Over the past month, as we recognized the 20th Anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act, advocates for employees and employers have been clamoring for changes to the Act.   On one hand, employee advocates are calling for a broad expansion of the FMLA that would allow for paid leave or broader coverage (e.g., … Continue Reading

An Employee Requests and is Denied Vacation Leave but Later Takes FMLA Leave for the Same Time Period. What Recourse Does an Employer Have?

This scenario is all too familiar for employers: shortly before Christmas, your employee requests vacation leave for Christmas Eve and New Years Eve.  Due to seniority or the employee’s last minute request for time off, her leave request is denied.  However, like clockwork, she calls off sick and requests FMLA leave on Christmas Eve and NYE, claiming she can’t work due to a … Continue Reading

A Couple Quick Tips to Fight FMLA Abuse Around the Holidays

Have your employees’ absences from work been a bit more frequent lately?  And are you tired of the lame excuses they’re providing?  After all, there are only so many times your employee’s dog can knock over the Christmas tree….on top of your employee, right? In this “best of” FMLA post, employers need not settle for patterns of … Continue Reading

Last Chance to Sign Up for our Complimentary FMLA Webinar set for this Thursday, December 6 (12 p.m. CST)

Reports on the street indicate that people literally are lining up and begging for the last seat for a complimentary FMLA webinar I am hosting this Thursday, December 6.  (See right.)  The good thing is that, as subscribers to our blog, you and your colleagues still can sign up.  (See details below.)  I hope you can … Continue Reading
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