can I recertify?

Employee was approved for intermittent FMLA on 7/15. The physician indicated the probable duration of condition would be 3--6 months. The employee was referred to a pulmonologist. The physician stated the condition would cause episodic flare-ups 1 time per month for 1 to 3 days per episode.

Since the employee was approved for FMLA she has been absent 2 Mondays in a row, and this week has been absent for three days.

With the referral to another doctor, can I get a certification from the new doctor for her condition or do I have to wait until the first one runs out in 3--6 months? Thanks.


  • 3 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • You might find your answers here....

    29 CFR 825.308 - Under what circumstances may an employer request subsequent recertifications of medical conditions?
  • Under the new regulations one of the reasons you can require recertification is if the EE is taking more leave than what was originally authorized. You also have the right to attach a copy of the EEs attendance record and require the doctor to authorize that the number of times the EE has missed work were due to his serious health condition.
  • Irie,

    Under the regulations, you are allowed to request recertification if an employee is absent more frequently than the original certification indicated. The mere fact that the employee is seeing a different doctor is not enough by itself to justify recertification.

    However, at this point I would question whether the employee's absences are clearly inconsistent with the medical certification. The certification form asks the doctor to ESTIMATE the frequency of incapacitating episodes. Depending on how far apart the first two Monday absences were from the latest three-day absence, then it may be premature to conclude that there is a clear inconsistency with the doctor's original estimate of how often the employee would be incapacitated.

    If you feel confident that the employee's absences are inconsistent with the certification [or if you have other reasons to be suspicious - see 29 C.F.R. 825.308(c)(3)], then you may request recertification. As pointed out by LindaS, you may ask the health care provider to confirm that the employee's absences to date are consistent with her condition. However, I do not interpret that to mean that you may require the provider to verify that each absence was actually caused by the previously certified condition. You may want to read the exact regulatory language in this regard, at 29 C.F.R. 825.308(e).

    I hope this is helpful!

    Julie Athey
    Author - HR Q&A: Family and Medical Leave Act
    Author - FMLA Compliance: Practical Solutions for HR
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