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How long does an employee have to give you a response for fmla.

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My fmla was left pending...
How long does an employee have to give you a response for fmla. My fmla was left pending for 8 weeks and 2 days without an explanation from my managers or from my fmla department. They waited 5 weeks before contacting my doctor to certify that the documents why had been on file for 4 months for my intermittent absences due to my chronic illness. My doctor alerted me that they kept contacting her and she kept sending in the same info saying yes this was her signature and yes she filled it out. Although I called and e-mailed, they never would explain anything, Then after 8 weeks and 2 days, they say that they want me to see another doctor for a second opinion. I've not changed the duration of my itermittent absences and my doctor has not changed the request. 1-can they really wait 2 months to give me any explanation at all and then say any fmla from 2 months ago to the present is no approved? I could have used my vaction if they had said something earlier.
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 23 minutes by:
6/19/2010
Employment Lawyer: JB Umphrey, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,233
Experience: Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.
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Can you clarify if you have filed a complaint with the DOL?
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
No, I've not filed a complaint with the DOL. I just received the notice yesterday that I needed a second opinion. I called the DOL in OKC, OK, because that is all I knew to do. She was very nice, and simply read to me where it says if an employee has a reason to doubt...he may obtain a second opinion. I said since it says "if the employee has a valid reason to doubt..." how do I, the DOL, those who govern DOL or anyone else determine whether the reason is valid, if they don't state what the reason was? Don't they have to state what the reason is, before sending me for a second opinion on a claim that has been certified from January 25th through July 25th? Don't they have to notify me or respond to my questions if they need additional carification or if there is an incomplete form? Can they leave a claim out there for 2 months (and I was off other intermittent days in between there) and watch me take more intermittent days during that span of time knowing that they plan on asking for a second opinion?
Employment Lawyer: JB Umphrey, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
Okay well, the amount of time they've taken to act on your request is way too long. However, they haven't denied your request, so no harm there.

Yes, the employer can require that you submit to an independent medical examination. No, the employer doesn't have to tell you why they doubt your request. If you decline to submit to the independent examination, the employer can deny your FMLA request on that basis.

Good luck and best wishes for better days ahead. I hope that you find this information to be helpful and this answer to be ACCEPTable!
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
The harm in waiting all that time is, the more days that may not be approved, the more it counts against my job. I did not know that they had them pending or that there was a problem, because it has been automatically approved during the period of certification. Had I known there was a problem, I would have used my vacation days rather than taking the FMLA for my illness since there was a chance that they might be denied. Is there a timeline that have to follow that you are aware of? Is there a rule that they must inform me if they are needing clarification or additional information? I thought there was something about having to give me 7 days. Can my job contact my doctor without my consent?
Employment Lawyer: JB Umphrey, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
The FMLA paperwork usually includes language in which you authorize your employer to contact your doctor.

The time frame for the approval is not set in stone and this is because the types of the requests can differ. Some can be an emergency. Some can be made well in advance (think surgery or medical procedure that is scheduled well out).

I am not sure why you are making a distinction between FMLA and vacation time. Yes, if they were to deny your FMLA leave, that just means you can't apply your banked sick time. But, yes, your vacation or personal time can be used.

If your employer is asking you to submit to an independent examination, you should consider doing so.
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