Manage the Certification Process Under the FMLA

Key Points

  • An employer may require an employee requesting FMLA leave to present an appropriate certification of the underlying facts that form the basis for the leave.
  • An employee is obligated to submit FMLA certifications in a timely manner and an employer may require that FMLA certifications contain specified information related to the employee's request for leave.
  • If an employee's certification is incomplete or unclear, the employer may follow specific procedures in order to obtain a complete and clear certification.
  • If an employer has reason to doubt the validity of a medical certification, an employer can require an employee to obtain a second and/or third opinion from a health care provider selected by the employer, at the employer's cost.
  • The certification process is a useful tool for employers to use in order to deter and/or curb an employee's fraudulent use or abuse of FMLA leave.

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