Recently I was asked when an employer may seek a second opinion to verify an employee’s serious health condition for purposes of Family Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") leave. The folks at the FMLA Insights blog addressed this very question in their recent post, FMLA FAQ – When to ask for a Second Opinion.
Like the post suggests, the short, rules-based answer is that an employer who "doubt[s] the validity of a medical certification" can ask for a second opinion. 29 CFR 825.307. This does not mean, however, that an employer should make a regular practice out of asking for a second opinion. Take a more conservative approach, and only request a second (or third) medical opinion when you have a solid reason to doubt the medical certification provided by the employee.