Using Convenient Medical Resources When Seeking a Second Opinion Under the FMLA
By Gail I. Cohen, JD
Director, Employment Law & Compliance
Matrix Absence Management
For any number of reasons, an employer may have a “reasonable basis to doubt the validity” of the medical certification supporting a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave request. Having convenient access to on-site or near-site medical personnel is an incredible plus to help employers work through this process. Here we will examine some of those questionable circumstances that may lead you to reach out to a provider at the beginning of a new leave year, the only time when an employer can challenge a certification.
Parameters that Seem Excessive for the Condition
In some cases, an employee submits a certification supporting intermittent FMLA for a frequency and/or duration that seems excessive for the condition. When consulting an on-site or near-site medical provider, limit what you ask of the provider. The regulations prohibit using a provider with whom the employer has an existing relationship for the actual second or third opinion.
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