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FMLA Second Opinion

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  • FMLA Second Opinion

    From Florida

    Postal Service accepted a recertification of FMLA by letter dated Dec. 9, 2004. Requested a Second Opinion examination by letter dated January 19, 2005. Nothing transpired during Dec. and Jan. related to FMLA.
    Second opinion physician was requesting completion of medical history form.
    Refused to complete form not knowing if this could open up release of medical history. Also not very cooperative with physician due to belief there was no justification for second opinion. Postal Service terminated rights to FMLA protection due to second opinion physician's claim of failure to cooperate. Law states employer has a right to request second opinion if there is doubt relating to validity of certification. Shouldn't the validity be questioned prior to acceptance of FMLA request? Any guidance related to what would constitute validity concerns would be greatly appreciated. Belief is that if there was no legal justification to request second opinion than FMLA protection should not be denied.

  • #2
    I believe that the answer to your question is answered in the following portion of the actual statute:

    (2) An employer who has reason to doubt the validity of a medical
    certification may require the employee to obtain a second opinion at the
    employer's expense. Pending receipt of the second
    (or third) medical opinion, the employee is provisionally entitled to
    the benefits of the Act, including maintenance of group health benefits.
    If the certifications do not ultimately establish the employee's
    entitlement to FMLA leave, the leave shall not be designated as FMLA
    leave and may be treated as paid or unpaid leave under the employer's
    established leave policies. The employer is permitted to designate the
    health care provider to furnish the second opinion, but the selected
    health care provider may not be employed on a regular basis by the
    employer. See also paragraphs (e) and (f) of this section.
    Lillian Connell

    Forum Moderator


    • #3
      Thank you for your response. I have read this section of the law. My concern centers around the "validity" issue. In this case management both accepted and approved the WH-380. The condition has been accepted and approved in the past. Out of the blue came the second opinion request. Should the validity concern come prior to approving an FMLA request, not after the fact?


      • #4
        pls go into detail

        the question that i cant find an answer to is the validity of the medical ceritification. if sbc has approved my leave several times before why now do they doubt the validity of my doctors certification? shouldn't they be required to say why they doubt the certification before i am required to release my medical records to them? are they allowed to survey my house and follow me around on the days that i take fmla? and finally shldnt the second opinion physician be a medical doctor for medical reasons, what if i have multiple conditions do i go see a second opinion doctor for each one, should i get an attorney. thx


        • #5

          I believe that you should go to an attorney for an initial consultation and get his/her opinion as to whether there may be a case. There are so many factors here, including the surveying of your home that you are encouraged to talk with legal counsel.
          Lillian Connell

          Forum Moderator


          The forum is intended for informational use only and should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for legal advice. The information contained on are opinions and suggestions of members and is not a representation of the opinions of does not warrant or vouch for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any postings or the qualifications of any person responding. Please consult a legal expert or seek the services of an attorney in your area for more accuracy on your specific situation.