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WORKPLACE Q&A

Her medical leave may require detailed reason

December 30, 2007|From Newsday

Recently, an employee went on a medical leave that lasted more than two months. The note from her doctor briefly stated that the leave was for medical reasons. When we pressed the doctor for more information, he resisted, citing patient confidentiality. The employee did not complete a consent form for the doctor to release more information.

Is a brief explanation acceptable for granting a medical leave? She has since returned to work with a medical clearance from the physician assigned by the facility.

If the employee was granted a leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, one of the most common medical leaves in the workplace, then the employee fell short, said Irv Miljoner of the U.S. Labor Department.

The employee must provide detailed information, either with a doctor's note or on a standard Family and Medical Leave Act form, so a company can determine if the person is eligible.

The act, which applies to most companies with more than 50 employees, provides as much as 12 weeks of unpaid leave to qualifying employees to tend to personal or family medical emergencies, among other things. An employee's job and benefits are preserved for the duration of the leave. But providing the proper paperwork is essential.

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