Can an employer request additional documentation on top of approved FMLA?

Can an employer request additional documentation (doctor’s notes) on top of Approved Intermittent FMLA claiming that it is a medical release to come back to work? This coverage is Un-Paid time off as per FMLA and I understand that a note is required for any Paid time off during FMLA coverage. If yes, why when it is already covered under the estimated days for FMLA? If no, are they operating against the federal law or HIPA?

Asked on July 22, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The bookkeeping requirements of the Family Medical Leave Act can be daunting.  And there are continued requirements for documentation. If you are questioning the documentation requested then ask "why" and see what the answer is.  But it may in fact be necessary.  Just because the leave is unpaid does not matter.  Your jib still need to be preserved for the time frame that you are out and an employer can request continued documentation.  Be aware, thought, that any documentation as it relates to medical information is protected by HIPAA and must be kept in a file separate and apart form the application, etc., for FMLA.  You can call your Department of Labor on this as well.  Good luck. 

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