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Must employers pay doctors to fill out FMLA forms?

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in FMLA Guidelines,HR Management,Human Resources

It happens all the time: An employee comes to HR with a request for FMLA leave. "Sure," you say. "Just have your doctor fill out this FMLA certification form and we'll get the process started." And usually that simple process works out just fine. But sometimes complications arise—like a bill from the doctor for completing the form. Do employers have to pay? It depends.

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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