FMLA, or the Friday-Monday Leave Act
By Rachel Shaw, JD
CEO and Principal
Shaw HR Consulting
While the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was created for a noble and much needed reason — “to balance the demands of the workplace with the needs of families” — it can foster misuse by employees who struggle to maintain regular attendance. Today, employers find themselves struggling to combat leave misuse that often happens concurrently with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) disability interactive process.
If it appears an FMLA leave has been used outside of the healthcare provider’s stated reason, an employer can require recertification. This can be done at the end of a leave or certification period or whenever use is inconsistent with FMLA certification for personal and family care.
If you doubt the medical validity of the original request for FMLA leave, you can request a second opinion. If a second opinion conflicts with the employee’s original request, he or she can request a third and binding opinion under this process. Be sure to consult specific state laws; California’s law, for example, differs significantly.
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