FMLA Violation - release of medical records request

My employer asked me to sign a release of medical records authorization form. They said until I signed the release, my FMLA would be denied. I've had FMLA intermittent since Jan. 08. My doctors have stated my illness of panic disorder is work related and caused by interactions with my supervisor. My last panic attack because of my work environment caused me to faint faint before returning to work the following Monday morning. I received 4 staples to close the wound on my head and my doctor wouldn't allow me to work for 1 month after this incident. Now they want my medical records, isn't it illegal to deny my FMLA because I won't sign the release?

1 answer  |  asked Mar 6, 2009 9:37 PM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Neil Klingshirn
Your employer cannot condition approval of FMLA on your release of medical records

Your employer is allowed to require you to obtain an FMLA certification from your doctor and, if dissatisfied with that certification, to send you to its own doctor for a certification. However, the employer may not require you to provide your medical records, do 20 jumping jacks or anything other than provide the FMLA certification.

As long as you provide the certification, you can miss work and are entitled to your position when you return. If your employer refuses to return you to work, you will have a claim. The Americans with Disabilities Act also prohibits an employer from requiring you to provide medical records, with some fairly narrow exceptions.

posted by Neil Klingshirn  |  Mar 7, 2009 08:36 AM [EST]

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