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How often can we request medical information from a chronically absent employee?

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Management Training

Q. If an employee constantly calls in sick because of migraine headaches, how can we verify the real reason for the absences? Can we ask for information each time the employee is absent?

A.
These situations frustrate many employers. If the employee has a serious health condition and qualifies for FMLA intermittent leave, you may not demand a doctor’s certification each time the employee is absent.

The timing of the employer’s ability to request recertification depends upon the duration of the medical condition as specified in the initial certification. In all cases, an employer may request recertification of a medical condition every six months. There are some circumstances in which an employer may properly request the information more frequently, such as if the timing of the intermittent unscheduled absences for the migraines reflected a pattern—for example, every Friday.

Discuss your specific circumstances with your attorney before requesting recertification.

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