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Merry Campbell quoted in January issue of What’s Working in Human Resources

January 4, 2016

Merry Campbell, Chair of the Shulman Rogers Employment and Labor Law Practice, was quoted in the “Answers to Tough HR Questions” section of the January 4, 2016 issue of What’s Working in Human Resources.


Can we deny FMLA leave after seeing just one form?

Q: An employee submitted an FMLA certification form, but the doctor didn’t identify a serious medical condition. Can we deny leave on the ground that FMLA is not triggered if there is no serious medical condition, or do we have to give the employee time to resubmit the form?

A: The safest approach is to give the employee a chance to resubmit the certification, says Meredith Campbell (mcampbell@shulmanrogers.com), co-chair, Employment and Labor Group at the firm Shulman Rogers.  

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled there are no “negative” FMLA certifications, only “insufficient certifications.”  And the regulations say an employer cannot deny FMLA leave unless the employee is given seven calendar days to cure an alleged deficiency.  As a result, if you are going to deny FMLA leave, it almost always makes sense to first identify the reason for the denial and give the employee seven days to cure the problem.

Read the January 4, 2016 issue of What’s Working in Human Resources here.