My Employer Wants Proof That I’m Really Ill. Do I Have To Provide Medical Records?
In this article, you will discover:
- What medical records to share with an employer when requesting FMLA leave
An employer may require the employee to submit what is called a Medical Certification from a doctor or healthcare provider that supports the employee’s need for FMLA leave. The employer has a duty to notify the employee any time that a Medical Certification is required.
To request FMLA leave, you must provide the employer with enough information to reasonably understand that you are taking leave for a serious health condition. In turn, the employer must provide notice to the employee that a medical certification is required. Usually, the employee will have up to 15 days to submit the certification. Many employers will have their own specific forms to fill out, but there is no standard widely-used form. The forms usually include contact information for the healthcare provider, the date the serious health condition began, how long it will last, the appropriate medical facts about the condition, and information showing that the employee is unable to perform the essential functions of the job. The Medical Certification is filled out by the healthcare professional that the employee is seeing. While the healthcare provider usually returns the certification to the employer, it is the employee’s responsibility to make sure that it is received by the employer.
Because FMLA can become very confusing, it is recommended that people who need to use FMLA contact an attorney to help walk them through the procedure, so there are no problems with the employer in the future.
Once the employer receives a complete and sufficient certification, the employer cannot ask for additional information from the healthcare provider. The Human Resources department can contact the healthcare provider for clarification or to authenticate the certification.
Additionally, if the employee is certified for the full 12 weeks, the employer has the right to request the employee to provide a recertification to prove that the serious health condition is still ongoing.