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Reapply for Denied FMLA

I have employees who apply for FMLA and are given the appropriate paperwork to return within 15 days. If they are delinquent in returning the paperwork, and 15 days has passed, I issue a designation form denying the request with a note of “Did not return paperwork in time.” Can they reapply for FMLA right away and just get another set of forms to take to the Doctor? In this case, what is the point in denying the request in the first place?

FMLA regulations allow employers to delay or decline FMLA leave if the employee does not provide the requested documentation within the designated timeframe, which may be no less than 15 days. Employers are permitted to allow a longer period of time if they so choose, but never less than 15 days. Additionally, if an employee submits an incomplete or inadequate certification, the employer must provide an additional 7 days for the employee to submit a new or revised certification that is complete.

At the time an employee is given the certification form to complete, he or she also needs to be informed about any consequences for not returning the information by the deadline. If the practice has been to extend the allowable certification return period indefinitely, then this same standard should be applied consistently with all employees. If up until now you have allowed employees an indefinite amount of time to return the forms & you now wish to strictly adhere to a 15-day window, it is advised that you inform all employees of this change and then also remind employees of the policy when they request leave.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 at 8:41 pm and is filed under
Attendance Management, Human Resources Management, Labor Laws.
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