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Healthcare Provider Certification Under The FMLA


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An employer may require an employee to provide a certification and recertification from a healthcare provider to support the need for leave under the Family And Medical Leave Act (FMLA) because of a serious health condition.

If an employer wants medical certification, it must request certification when the employee requests leave or within 5 days of the beginning of unforeseeable leave.  New medical certification may be requested in each subsequent leave year. 

Certification must come from an acceptable healthcare provider and contain a minimum amount of information. An employer may request clarification. The questions an employer can ask are limited as is an employer's right to contact the healthcare provider directly.

A second opinion may be requested. If it conflicts with the first opinion, a third opinion may be requested. A third opinion is binding on both employer and employee.

Failure to provide certification may result in no protection under the FMLA.

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