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FMLA second opinion Michigan

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  • FMLA second opinion Michigan

    I have questions regarding the employer rights to request a second opinion for a FMLA leave.

    Employee requested a Tues-Wed time off to process father in a nursing home. Supervisor said no, you can have Thurs-Fri off. Employee told fellow employee that she was not happy with that and would go to doctor to get medical time off. Employee's doctor gave a FMLA medical certification that due to stress and anxiety in personal life, employee needed the week off, five days instead of two. Diagnosis was situational anxiety, duration of one month to lifetime, and employee was referred for counseling. Doctor stated there was a possibility of further treatment and follow-up.

    HR VP does not accept this FMLA certification because of possibility of intermittent leave needed. Told employee to have the doctor rewrite the certification to approve the five days only with no possibility of further need of leave or the VP would request the employee go for a second opinion. Employee gave doctor another certification to be filled out but doctor gave back the initial certification, not changing it.

    Can we require a second opinion because the VP does not like the diagnosis? The employee is not an absentee problem and has no history of taking time off. Do we need justification to require a second opinion? The employee has said she will refuse a second opinion, can the VP discipline based on that? I am uncomfortable in not accepting the doctor certification and question the ability to require the second opinion without basis. What should happen in this situation?

  • #2
    If the doctor certifies that the employee needs to be off intermittently and she otherwise qualifies for FMLA, you have to grant it whether the VP likes it or not. I agree in this case it seems like the form was manufactured to get time off for another purpose. You can insist on a second opinion with a doctor of your choosing that you pay for.

    Here is the reg http://www.dol.gov/dol/allcfr/Title_...CFR825.307.htm
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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