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Must we pay doctors to fill out FMLA forms?

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in FMLA Guidelines,HR Management,Human Resources

Q. Recently, a doctor sent our HR department a bill for completing one of our employees’ FMLA certification forms. Do we have to pay it? — P.L., Georgia

A.
Assuming that this is the employee’s first medical certification, it is his or her responsibility to cover the expense. But it’s a different story when your organization requests a second or third opinion. Here’s the story:

For any leave taken due to a serious health condition, employers can request that employees provide a medical certification form that confirms the serious condition.   

If an employer has reason to doubt the validity of the medical certification, it may require the employee to obtain a second opinion at the employer’s expense.

If the opinions of the employee’s doctor and the doctor selected by the employer differ, the employer can require the employee to obtain a third medical opinion from a doctor agreed upon by the employer and the employee. Again, this is at the employer’s expense. The results of the third medical opinion are binding on both sides.

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