Manage the FMLA Certification Process

Key Points

  • An employer may require an employee requesting leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to provide an appropriate certification of the underlying facts that form the basis for the leave.
  • An employee must submit an FMLA certification in a timely manner and the certification should contain the specified information related to the employee's request for leave. If an employee's certification is incomplete or unclear, then the employer may follow specific procedures in order to obtain a complete and clear certification.
  • The certification process is a useful tool for employers to use in order to deter an employee's fraudulent use or abuse of FMLA leave.
  • A number of states have family and medical leave laws that may have different requirements with respect to the certification process, e.g., what information can or cannot be asked on the certification. An employer should always check state and local law to ensure it complies with the certification process in all jurisdictions.

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