When employees take medical leave under theAct ( ), you can require them to give you a doctor's certification that confirms the medical problem. You must give employees at least 15 days to submit the paperwork.
But what if an employee ignores your request for certification? Must you keep extending the deadline? No. As the following case shows, it's not your responsibility to keep nagging employees until they submit. You can set a deadline and stick to it.
Still, if an employee submits a certification form that has some missing or incomplete information, you must give him or her a reasonable time to fix the mistakes.
Recent case: Debbie Urban soughtfrom her Dollar General job after her carpal tunnel surgery. Her employer told her to provide a doctor's medical certification by a certain date and explained the consequences if she provided incomplete information. When that date passed, Urban asked for and was granted a 15-day extension. But even after that, the company didn't receive her medical certification.
As a result, Dollar General fired her for unauthorized absences. Urban sued, saying the company violatedthat allow her a reasonable time to fix certification deficiencies. She said her doctor misplaced the certification form and never sent it to the company.
A federal appeals court sided with Dollar General, saying a certification that is never submitted can't be considered "in-complete." The court said that if it went along with Urban's argument, "an employer could never set a real deadline for the return of a medical certification." Instead, it would be obligated to let employees keep extending the certification, "a scenario that could repeat itself ad infinitum." (Urban v. Dolgencorp of Texas Inc., 5th Cir., No. 03-11276, 2004)
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/266/employee-not-you-is-responsible-for-filing-fmla-certification-on-time "
- New guidebook helps you explain FMLA to employees
- Attendance policies: Control absenteeism without breaking the law
- Ex-employees: Gone but not forgotten Courts' broader definition of 'employee' expands your liability
- Measure productivity loss when tallying up health costs
- Consider ADA needs, FMLA requests separately