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Family and Medical Leave Act Advisor


30-day Rule
Generally, an employer may request recertification for leave taken because of an employee's own serious health condition or the serious health condition of a family member no more than every 30 days and only in connection with an absence by the employee.

More than 30 Days
If the medical certification indicates that the minimum duration of the condition is more than 30 days, an employer must wait until that minimum duration expires before requesting a recertification, except that in all cases, an employer may request a recertification every six months in connection with an absence by the employee. For example, if the medical certification states that an employee will be unable to work, either continuously or intermittently, for 40 days, the employer must wait 40 days before requesting a recertification.

Less than 30 Days
An employer may request recertification in less than 30 days if:

  • The employee requests an extension of leave;
  • Circumstances described by the previous certification have changed significantly; or
  • The employer receives information that casts doubt upon the employee's stated reason for the absence or the continuing validity of the certification.

The employee must provide the requested recertification to the employer within the time frame requested by the employer (which must allow at least 15 calendar days after the employer's request), unless it is not practicable under the particular circumstances to do so despite the employee's diligent, good-faith efforts.

The employer may ask for the same information when obtaining recertification that was permitted for the original certification. The employee has the same obligations to participate and cooperate in the recertification process as in the initial certification process, including providing a complete and sufficient certification or adequate authorization to the health care provider. If the employee fails to provide a recertification within a reasonable time under the particular facts and circumstances, then the employer may deny continuation of the FMLA leave protections until the employee produces a sufficient recertification. If the employee never produces the recertification, the leave is not FMLA leave.

Any recertification requested by the employer is at the employee's expense unless the employer provides otherwise. No second or third opinion on recertification may be required.

Continue to Fitness-for-Duty Certification or Return to Required Documentation/Certifications from Employees.

For more information on this aspect of the FMLA, see the FMLA regulations: ยง 825.308