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Can we request a note for all intermittent leaves?

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in FMLA Guidelines,Management Training

Q. We have an employee who was approved for intermittent FMLA leave. Can we request that she provide us with a note from her doctor each time she misses work? Or do we have to trust her when she says she had a “flare-up” and couldn’t work? — T.A., Kentucky

A. In most cases, an employer may request recertification by a health-care provider no more often than every 30 days and only in connection with an absence. In all cases, an em­­ployer may request a recertification of a medical condition every six months in connection with an employee’s absence.  

However, there are exceptions that allow you to obtain recertification more frequently than every 30 days. For example, if the circumstances described by the previous certification—frequency of absences, severity of illness, complications, etc.—have changed significantly.

You can also obtain recertification more frequently than 30 days if you receive information that casts doubt on the employee’s stated reason for the absence or the validity of the certification. Say he took four weeks of FMLA leave for knee surgery but you see him playing in a softball game.

Note: Whenever an employer requests a recertification, the employee must be given at least 15 calendar days to comply, unless it is not possible. (29 C.F.R. 825.308)

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