Best Ohio FMLA Attorney Answer: Can my employer require me to take a medical evaluation to come back to work? Is it retaliation if my employer forces to me to take a medical evaluation before allowing me to go back to work? What does the medical evaluation entail that I have to undergo?
Recently, a California appeals court issued an interesting decision regarding what an employer can require an employee to undergo in terms of a “fit test” after the employee seeks to come back to work following the use of Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) leave. In White v. County of Los Angeles, the California Second District Court of Appeals held that after an employee returns to work from leave under the FMLA, an employer may require a medical evaluation related to the employee’s serious health condition for which the employee used FMLA leave. The caveat…the medical evaluation must be related to the employee’s job and be consistent with business necessity.
In White, the plaintiff took FMLA to undergo mental health treatment after she began experiencing mental anguish following the death of her brother-in-law. After taking continuous FMLA leave in mid-2011, White sought to return to work later that year after being cleared by her physician.
Thereafter, in early 2012, White’s employer ordered a medical evaluation for her to determine White’s ability to perform her job duties. White refused to undergo the medical exam, and instead, filed a lawsuit arguing that her FMLA rights were being violated by the employer by forcing her to take a medical exam before returning to work. The trial court issued a permanent injunction in White’s favor preventing the employer from forcing her to take the medical exam prior to returning to work.
On appeal, however, the Court held the Department of Labor (“DOL”) regulations allow for a fitness for duty examination, consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), after the employee’s return to work, when FMLA protections no longer apply. The Court specifically held that “the FMLA should be interpreted to render the employee’s health care provider’s opinion conclusive on the issue of whether the employee should be immediately returned to work, but to permit the employer to thereafter require a FFDE, if it has a basis to question the employee’s health care provider’s opinion.” Thus, according to the Court, the employer could require the employee to undergo a medical evaluation before returning to work without violating the employee’s FMLA rights.
If you feel that you are being denied leave rights under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or are being retaliated against for taking medical leave, you should call the right attorney as quickly as possible to schedule a free and confidential consultation. The phone number to contact an Ohio attorney for FMLA help is (216) 291-4744. While you focus on your family medical needs, let our FLMA attorneys focus on your medical leave rights.
The materials available at the top of this medical leave page and on this employment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you are still asking, “how do I get medical leave under the FMLA?”, “what should I do when my job won’t give me medical leave?”, “can my boss deny me medical leave?”, “what should I do if I was fired in retaliation for taking FMLA leave?”, or “is my employer allowed to…?”, your best option is to contact an Ohio medical leave attorney to obtain advice with respect to FMLA questions or any particular employment law issue. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of The Spitz Law Firm, LLC, Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.