can employers legally ask why I am asking for FMLA papers to give to the doctor?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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can employers legally ask why I am asking for FMLA papers to give to the doctor?

I live in Tennessee work full time, non union, was questioned like a criminal when I asked HR for FMLA papers to give my moms Dr to sign. I thought this violated HEPA privacy rules.

Asked on November 1, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, your employer could legally ask why you wanted FMLA papers. The fact is that such leave is available for certain medically related reasons. In order to be certain that you were eligible, your company was entitled to confirn the reasons surrounding your request. There was no violation of HIPPA; only a medical provoder is covered for such a breach.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they can ask: FMLA leave is only available for certain specified reasons, and the employer is entitled to confirm that this request or usage is valid. You don't need to provide great detail, but you do have to provide enough information that they can verify that this is an appropriate use of the leave.


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