Employer properly followed FMLA regulations

by on February 2, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

FMLA guidelines says a doctor’s note isn’t enough

Employees seeking FMLA medical leave (as opposed to caring for a sick family member or having or adopting a child) must show that they have a serious health condition, that they’re incapacitated and that they can’t perform the basic duties of their jobs per FMLA guidelines. A doctor’s note describing the worker’s diagnosis and treatment isn’t necessarily enough under FMLA regulations.

Two workers who were anxious about a coworker who’d harassed them in the past called in sick. They even got doctors’ notes saying that they were being treated for stress per FMLA regulations and company policy.

But the company didn’t buy their claims and denied them FMLA medical leave.

The employees sued, claiming that their FMLA rights had been violated. In court, the judge ruled against them.

True, they’d sought professional help from mental health-care providers and they’d been treated for a bona fide medical condition (stress).

But they couldn’t show any medical reason for why they were unable to work.

In reaching its decision, the court noted that the two employees spent their “sick days” performing routine daily activities – and that they could just as easily have been performing their jobs.

Cite: Jarvis v. Gerstenslager Co.

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