He is right about one thing: An unreasonable demand for recertification may interfere with FMLA rights. He is wrong about another: The City’s requests all fit comfortably within the regulatory boundaries.The FMLA has a maze of regulations that define when an employer can ask for a recertification of a serious health condition. Critical to this case is the rule that permits an employer to require a recertification any time that the “circumstances described by the previous certification have changed significantly.” In this case, the court relied upon Smith’s changed circumstances to conclude that the city had not harassed him with its recertification requests.
- In one instance, Smith took six days of medical leave, instead of the two days estimated in his prior certification. Per the 6th Circuit, “If an employee desires more time off than described in the prior certification, the employer may require updated information from a physician. That is all that happened.”
- In another instance, Smith sought to change his work restrictions to accommodate a new physical limitation. Per the 6th Circuit, “The City responded with a request for recertification because the new limitations were not listed on the previous certification. That is the epitome of a reasonable recertification request.”