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FMLA Certifications: How to Get the Medical Information You Need to Properly Designate Leave and Decrease Abuse

FMLA Certifications: How to Get the Medical Information You Need to Properly Designate Leave and Decrease Abuse

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FMLA Certifications: How to Get the Medical Information You Need to Properly Designate Leave and Decrease Abuse

Live Webinar: Friday, October 25, 2019

1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Eastern / 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Pacific


WEBINAR SNAPSHOT: Learn how to use FMLA certifications to properly designate leave and curb FMLA abuse.



Does time off from work to visit with school administrators about an employee’s child’s behavioral issues constitute protected time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)? What about if the meeting is specifically to address the child’s individualized education plan (IEP)? Does that make a difference? Perhaps, according to a new opinion letter the Department of Labor has issued.

Or, what about when an employee has a consistent case of “the Monday/Fridays”—calling out from work and using the need for intermittent FMLA leave as the reason. How can you be sure the absences are legitimate?

Enter the medical certifications: an HR manager’s friend in the fight against potential FMLA abuse, FMLA certifications are a useful tool for assessing whether protected leave under FMLA should be authorized in the first place—and a very good way to help crack down on suspected abuse.

Unfortunately, the certification process is far from straightforward, and the law limits your ability to question an employee’s intentions or request additional information.

Consider, too that the DOL has proposed revisions to several model forms, which employers nationwide often use to administer FMLA leave, specifically:

  • WH-380-E Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee's Serious Health Condition;
  • WH-380-F Certification of Health Care Provider for Serious Health Condition of the Family Member;
  • WH-381 Notice of Eligibility and Rights and Responsibilities;
    WH-382 Designation Notice;
  • WH-384 Certification of Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave;
  • WH-385 Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of a Current Servicemember for Military Family Leave; and
  • WH-385-V Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of a Veteran for Military Caregiver Leave.

Join us on October 25 for the latest on the DOL’s proposed revisions to these model FMLA forms and to learn how to master the key steps of requesting and interpreting FMLA certifications, including how to legally get the information you need from a healthcare provider—and even detect potential abuses of the system.

You’ll learn:

  • How to structure the use of medical certifications 
  • What you can ask for on a FMLA certification form 
  • When a second or third opinion is permissible under FMLA regulations 
  • What rights employees have during the FMLA certification process 
  • What to do if the employee provides an insufficient FMLA certification – or none at all 
  • How to handle employee use of intermittent leave under the FMLA 
  • How to address when an employee is chronically out on Mondays and/or Fridays
  • Practical recommendations on preventing FMLA leave abuse in your workplace 
  • And more!

About Your Presenter

Timothy MurphyTimothy F. Murphy, Esq. 
Partner 
Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C

Timothy F. Murphy is a partner with Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C., and practices in the firm’s Springfield, Massachusetts, office. He joined the firm in 2001 and became a member in 2007. Prior to joining the firm, he served as General Counsel to an area labor union, worked as an Assistant District Attorney for the Hampden County District Attorney’s Office, and was a litigator for a large defense firm in Springfield. A Springfield native, he is a magna cum laude graduate of American International College in Springfield, and received his Juris Doctor degree from Western New England Law School in 1990. His experience as a union attorney gives him unique insight into complex labor relations matters. He also is an experienced litigator, representing management in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies on matters involving employment discrimination and alleged violations of the myriad of labor and employment laws that affect the employer-employee relationship. In addition to providing employment-related advice to employers, he assists clients in remaining union-free and has extensive experience negotiating collective bargaining agreements.

Murphy is a member of the Labor Lawyers Advisory Committee of CUE . He is a regular contributor to business publications and to the Massachusetts Employment Law Letter.

Murphy is a former adjunct professor at Western New England College, teaching employment law courses, and he regularly makes presentations before management groups on labor and employment law topics.