Denying FMLA Benefits Due to an Insufficient FMLA Certification: When is it Permissible?
November 11th, 2020
Denying FMLA Benefits Due to an Insufficient FMLA Certification:
When is it Permissible?
By: Jennifer Brodersen and Heather Rooney McBride
Pursuant to 29 C.F.R. § 825.305(c), an employee must provide a complete and sufficient certification to the employer if required by the employer in accordance with §§ 825.306, 825.309, and 825.310. A certification is considered insufficient if the employer receives a complete certification, but the information provided is vague, ambiguous, or non-responsive. 29 C.F.R. § 825.305(c).
If the employer believes the FMLA certification is insufficient, the employer must notify the employee in writing what additional information is necessary to make the certification complete and sufficient. Id. The employer must then provide the employee with seven (7) calendar days (unless not practicable, even if the employee acts in good faith) to cure such deficiency. Id.
It is the employee’s responsibility either to furnish a complete and sufficient certification or to furnish the health care professional providing the certification with any necessary authorization from the employee in order for the health care professional to release a complete and sufficient certification to the employer to support the employee’s FMLA request. 29 C.F.R. § 825.305(d). If the employee fails to do so, the employer may then properly deny FMLA leave, in accordance with § 825.313. Id.