• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

You can rely on ‘negative’ FMLA certification

by on
in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Sometimes, employees think they’re sick enough to qualify for FMLA leave, but their doctors don’t. Other times, medical staff filling out the medical forms makes mistakes.

Either way, if you get a certification or doctor’s note explaining that the employee can work, you are under no obligation to get more information. Instead, you can rely on that “negative” FMLA certification and deny leave.

Recent case: Shelby Allen, who worked for Progress Energy, began missing work and used up all her vacation and sick time. Then she became pregnant, suffering bouts of nausea and vomiting. She called in sick, and her employer asked for medical documentation to show she couldn’t work.

Allen was then hospitalized and released to bed rest. However, someone at her doctor’s office checked the wrong box on her medical forms, which indicated that she could return to work full time. The employer got the note and denied Allen FMLA leave. She was then terminated.

Allen sued, alleging interference with her right to FMLA leave.

The court dismissed her case even though it agreed she was technically eligible for the leave due to her condition. The court said the employer was entitled to rely on the employee’s medical note, which clearly stated she could work, even if that turned out to be a mistake. (Allen v. Progress Energy, No. 6:07-CV-1588, MD FL, 2009)

Caution: If you get conflicting medical notes—one stating that the employee can work and another stating that the employee has a serious health condition that requires time off—you cannot choose which form to accept. In such a case, you must ask for more information before denying FMLA leave. This situation could arise if the employee is seeing several doctors.

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/9010/you-can-rely-on-negative-fmla-certification "

Leave a Comment