Can You Charge Fees for Filing FMLA Forms?

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A doctor is saying good bye to his patient.
A doctor is saying good bye to his patient. (Image: amanaimagesRF/amana images/Getty Images)

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, employees are eligible for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave without putting their jobs at risk. However, employers are entitled to request medical certification that the leave is medically necessary for the employee to do his job before granting that request. Employers can’t charge you for filing FMLA forms, but they can require you to pay for the cost of certification, leaving you responsible for any charges your medical practitioner may have for the paperwork.

Paperwork Fee Varies

The FMLA mandates that employees pay the costs associated with obtaining the initial medical certification. Doctors are permitted to charge for completing the form. The amount charged varies by individual and practice, and can range from a few dollars to more than $100. Practices base these fees on the volume of requests, the opportunity cost of filling out forms instead of seeing additional patients, and the need to turn them around quickly, among other reasons. However, if an employer asks for a second or third opinion from different medical practitioners before granting the request, the employer must pay the cost for those additional forms.

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