Know the Rules Before Checking Employee Medical Records

May 21, 2018
Medical Records

Employers often need to validate health-related time off requests. However, doing so comes with a minefield of regulations to follow.

When employees request time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employers need to tread carefully.

The FMLA can be a minefield in several ways, including how to document eligibility for leave. In the simple words of the Department of Labor, employees would qualify for time off under the act if a serious condition makes them “unable to perform the functions of his or her job,” or “to care for the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent who has a serious health condition, ” among other reasons.

In its Employer’s Guide to the FMLA, the Labor Department notes that serious health conditions include illnesses, injuries, and physical or mental conditions that require inpatient care or continuing treatment by a health care provider.” It also states that the FMLA doesn’t “apply to routine medical examinations, such as a physical, or to common medical conditions, such as an upset stomach, unless complications develop.” Read more