FMLA is a federal law that allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks off work in a 12 month period (defined by IU as the calendar year) for certain qualifying reasons. FMLA may be taken intermittently or as a single block of time off.
- Always request medical certification if the qualifying reason for FMLA is a serious health condition for the employee, employee’s spouse, domestic partner, child, or parent.
- Always include a copy of the essential job functions form with the medical certification so that the health care provider has a basis for responding to questions regarding the employee’s ability to perform the essential functions of the job.
- Employees have 15 days to provide the medical certification, unless they can demonstrate that they have made a good faith effort to obtain it within the timeline.
- Can you determine from the medical certification the nature, frequency, and duration of the employee’s absences? That information should be clear.
- If the medical certification form is incomplete or insufficient to make a determination of whether the employee is covered under FMLA, you should return the form to the employee, with a note to the doctor explaining what additional information is required.
- Responses such as “as needed,” unknown, and PRN (whenever necessary) are insufficient information.
- Make thoroughness the employee’s responsibility. The employee is to be given 7 more calendar days to provide the additional requested clarification.
- Pregnancy only requires the Request form, not the medical certification form.
- Establish and communicate a formal call-in procedure for all employees. Include: when the employee must call-in, who must call, who the employee must speak to. Don’t accept “I’m just taking an FMLA day.”
- Questions you may ask: When did the incapacity begin? Is the employee able to perform normal daily activities? When did the condition improve so that the employee could resume normal activities? How many times has the employee been seen by the doctor?
- If for a medical appointment, length of time for appointment and travel. It is okay to ask the employee to request a medical appointment time that will be least disruptive to the business of your department.
Click here to view FMLA Policy online: http://policies.iu.edu/policies/categories/human-resources/time-off/fmla.shtml