Q. An employee has a chronic condition that’s been medically certified. What information can we request to verify that his absences relate to his medical condition? — D.J., Florida
A. The mere fact that an employee has a chronic condition doesn’t necessarily mean the employee will need to take time off from work. If the employee is seeking time off due to his medical condition, and the condition qualifies under theor other leave laws or policies, the employee’s physician should estimate how long and how often the employee will need time off.
If the employee is absent due to his physician’s recommendation, you should not request additional documentation unless you have specific information that reasonably suggests the employee is taking time off for non-FMLA purposes.
You also should request certifications periodically from employees dealing with chronic conditions to ensure that your information is current. Chronic conditions change over time, and may improve or deteriorate. A year-old certification, for example, needs to be updated.