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Mental illness

I have an employee who is having personal mental issues but they have not seen a physician. He has missed most of last week and did not come in today. I talked to him last Friday about putting him on FMLA. Can we require him to get a doctors slip to use FMLA?

The federal Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons, including a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his job.

Employers may require an employee to submit a certification from a health care provider to support the employee’s need for FMLA leave to care for his own serious health condition. The employer’s requirement for such certification must be included in the written notice of FMLA rights and responsibilities given to the employee when leave is first requested.

The employee is responsible for providing a complete and sufficient certification, generally within 15 calendar days after the employer’s request. The employee is also responsible for paying for the cost of the medical certification and for making sure the certification is provided to the employer. If the certification is incomplete or insufficient, the employer must give the employee a written notice stating what additional information is necessary to make the certification complete and sufficient. The employee must provide the additional information to the employer within seven calendar days, in most circumstances.

Failure to provide a complete certification may warrant the employer declining the employee’s leave request.

There is no specific medical certification form required under the FMLA. However, the Department of Labor does provide form WH-380-E or the employer may use its own form. Just remember, if you choose to use your own form no more additional information can be required other than what is specified under the FMLA regulations. Information requested must only relate to the serious health condition for which the employee is requesting leave, nothing else. It’s advisable to use the form provided by the DOL to avoid requesting/receiving information not relative.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 15th, 2015 at 12:53 pm and is filed under
Labor Laws.
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