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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 99518
Experience:  Years of experience in running a medium sized law firm.
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I live in California. I am currently seeing a licensed

Customer Question

I live in California. I am currently seeing a licensed clinical psychologist for compassion fatigue. I am seeing her at the request of my supervisors and human resources who would like to have me placed on medical stress leave. My PCP will not work with her in writing an order for time off. He is deferring the decision to my therapist or wants me to see a psychiatrist. My psychologist is not sure that she can legally write the order for medical leave. Is she able to make that referral or do I need to see a psychiatrist?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ely replied 7 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. It sounds like you are talking about FMLA leave.

Per Harbor Freight Lines, Inc. v. Antti, "the employer may require the completion of a medical certification, which must be deemed sufficient if it includes, in the case of intermittent leave, the dates of expected treatment, the medical necessity of intermittent leave, and the expected duration of the intermittent leave."

This means that the employer may require a medical certification. But who has licensure enough to provide this? Per FMLA, "health care provider" means physician, podiatrists, dentists, clinical psychologists, optometrists, and chiropractors (limited to treatment consisting of manual manipulation of the spine to correct a subluxation as demonstrated by X-ray to exist) authorized to practice in the State and performing with the scope of their practice as defined under State law. Added to FMLA's definition are nurse practitioners and nurse-midwives (who provide diagnosis and treatment of certain conditions.

Psychologists are not included on the list. If the employer accepts this for FMLA purposes, then there is no issue. However it is best to get the note from a physician, meaning a psychiatrist.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.

Expert:  Ely replied 7 months ago.
Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question because you never responded or replied positively. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!

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