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Question: What do you suggest when the physician holds up providing the certification for medical leave past the 15-day time period as specified under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?

Answer: At the time the employer requests certification, the employer must also advise an employee of the anticipated consequences of an employee’s failure to provide adequate certification.

The employee must provide the requested certification to the employer within 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 to complete all required documentation under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the employer provides more than 15 calendar days to return the requested certification.

Understanding failure to furnish medical certification may be due to failure of the physician to complete such documentation in a timely manner, we recommend reaching out to the employee to determine when this can be provided. While you are not obligated to grant an extension of the 15 calendar days, this is a circumstance outside the employee’s control.