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Is medical certification required before I take leave?

Requesting family and medical leave from work should be a simple process. Employees shouldn't have to be concerned about being denied or not being able to return to their jobs. Unfortunately, they sometimes are, thanks to the hassle they experienced when putting in their request. In some situations, you may not be required to verify the reason you are taking leave, but it is possible that you will be asked. Should this happen, you employer will inform you what documentation you will need as proof.

Employers can request the following documentation when an employee decides to take leave:

  • Medical certification that the employee, spouse, parent or child is seriously injured/ill.
  • Periodic recertifications.
  • Certification stating that it is safe for an employee to return to work.
  • Second or third opinions about the employee's condition/illness.

These steps may seem like an extreme measure for employers to take when their employees request FMLA, but because people tend not to be truthful and try to take advantage of their ability to take leave, employers may require proof that leave is necessary. Should an employee really need to take leave, there should be no issue with getting a medical professional to sign off on this or with getting a second or third opinion.

No one should be denied or terminated because they want to improve their health or help with a family member who is suffering from an illness. Anyone who feels as though they have been wrongfully denied leave or have had their employer retaliate against them may want to contact an attorney for assistance with filing a claim.

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