Magazine article HRMagazine

Doctor's Note Not Needed for Intermittent Leave

Magazine article HRMagazine

Doctor's Note Not Needed for Intermittent Leave

Article excerpt

When employees are approved to take sporadic leave for medical reasons, can an employer insist that they provide a doctor's note for each absence? The answer, according to a recent ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, is no.

The standard protocol in the case of intermittent leave is for employers to obtain medical certification from an employee's doctor including the dates of expected treatment, the medical necessity of intermittent leave and the expected duration of leave. If a company disagrees with the certification, it is authorized, via a statutory process, to request second and third opinions and to require the employee to obtain a subsequent recertification "on a reasonable basis."

At Oak Harbor Freight, however, managers had been requiring notes for each absence. The letter that they typically sent to employees on intermittent leave stated, "In order for me to know when to apply the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to an absence, a medical note will be required from your provider. …

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