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Conveniently scheduled doctors’ appointments

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Q. We don’t usually require employees to provide notes when they take time off for doctors’ appointments. However, one of our employees is known for scheduling her “appointments” on the Friday before holiday weekends. Can we request verification from the doctor’s office on a case-by-case basis?

A. Generally speaking, to avoid claims of discrimination, an employer should consistently apply its policies and procedures to all employees. Therefore, if you are requesting doctor’s verification from one employee, you should change your policy to request verification from all employees who miss time for medical appointments.

If you notice a particular pattern with any employee related to absences on days before holiday weekends, you should consider speaking with this employee regarding your concerns, keeping in mind that the FMLA, the ADA or both may protect the employee.

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