This article series will cover managing medical certifications under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In the last installment we covered the authentication, clarification, and second opinions surrounding medical certification, here we’ll go over recertification. The FMLA regulations offer procedures for recertification.
In general, employers may request recertification no more often than once every 30 days or however long the certification form stated that the employee would need leave. For example, if the certification states that the employee will be out for 3 months due to back surgery, you can’t require recertification during that 3-month period. Requests for recertification should also include the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) safe harbor statement to prevent disclosure of protected genetic information.
However, there are several exceptions to these general rules. First, you may require recertification earlier if:
- The employee requests an extension of leave;
- The circumstances described in the initial certification have significantly changed; or
- You receive information that casts doubt on the validity of the certification.