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What does medical certification mean for FMLA leave?

If you are interested in taking a leave from work, as governed by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), there are a few things you need to know. Above all else, you have to determine if you are eligible for this type of leave. If so, you can move onto the next detail: providing your employer with the appropriate information.

It is within your employer's rights to require medical certification in relation to the leave. While this may sound like a challenge, the company must provide the employee with a minimum of 15 calendar days to obtain the proper certification. This affords the person plenty of time to collect the necessary information.

Furthermore, employers have the option to require the worker to obtain a second medical certification from another health care provider. In this event, the company is required to pay for any expense encountered by the employee.

Some of the health care providers who are eligible to provide medical certification for FMLA leave include: doctors of medicine, dentists, optometrists, clinical psychologists, podiatrists, nurse practitioners, and nurse midwives among others.

There is a lot that goes into taking an FMLA leave. Even if you are eligible for this, it doesn't mean you can simply stop showing up at work. You have to take the proper steps, which often means providing your company with medical certification.

If a person is denied FMLA leave, despite the fact that he or she is eligible, the individual will need to consider the options for appealing the decision. This could result in a lawsuit in relation to the refusal to grant leave.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, "The Family and Medical Leave Act," accessed May. 28, 2015

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