FMLA and other Leave

 

FAQs – FMLA (from the district)

EEA’s General Information Packet about taking FMLA

Q: Can the district ask for a second opinion when a teacher submits a sick leave note?

A: Yes, the employer has a right to request its own medical certification. The District can seek a second opinion and even a third certification should the member’s doctor and the 2nd certifying provider disagree. Also keep in mind that an employer may contact a member’s provider about the FMLA certification form (limited questions and information sharing about the form only and need for clarification or even to address vagueness in provider’s information).

Q: Will I have to obtain second and third opinions, if needed?

A: While rare in our district, sometimes an employer may doubt the validity of a medical certification. In this situation, an employer may be able to obtain a second medical opinion at the employer’s expense. An employer may designate the health care provider for the second opinion; however, the health care provider may not be someone who is regularly used or employed by the employer, unless health care is limited in the geographic area. Pending the outcome of the second opinion, an employee is entitled to the protections of the FMLA. If the second opinion does not entitle the employee to FMLA leave or if the employee or family member’s health care provider refuses to release relevant information to the employer’s designated health care provider on request, the FMLA leave may be denied.

Employers may request a third opinion, again at the employer’s expense, when the opinions of the employee’s and the employer’s designated health care providers’ differ. An employer and employee must agree on a third health care provider. If the organization fails to reach an agreement on a health care provider, the organization may be bound by the first certification. If the employee fails to reach an agreement on a health care provider, the employee may be bound by the second certification. If a health care provider is agreed on, the third opinion will be final and binding. If the third opinion does not entitle the employee to FMLA leave or if the employee or family member’s health care provider refuses to release relevant information to the employer’s designated health care provider on request, the FMLA leave may be denied.