HIPAA Authorization for Release of Information to Employer for Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Purposes Only
Author: Barton A. Bixenstine, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP
When to Use
The FMLA generally permits the employer to contact an employee's health care provider for purposes of obtaining clarification or authentication of a medical certification. Before making such contact for clarification purposes, the employer must obtain a release from the employee (or the employee's family member) that is compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
While an employee may choose to provide the release, the employee cannot be required to provide it. Also, once an employee provides a medical certification, this form can be used only for obtaining clarification of that certification after the employer has given the employee an opportunity to cure any deficiencies - once again, the employee cannot be required to provide this authorization even for that limited purpose.