Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), an employee’s certification for leave that contains all required information is presumptively valid. An employer, however, can rebut that presumption by demonstrating that the certification is invalid (for example, contains contradictory statements, inconsistent signatures, or is otherwise suspicious). Certifications for leave should be carefully evaluated as FMLA leave may be taken in increments of less than a day (which may well create production and efficiency problems). If a certification can be shown to be invalid, an employee may be held accountable under an employer’s disciplinary program for time missed from work. Obviously, however, any such action must be tempered with providing the employee with the opportunity to explain or account for the suspicious nature of the certification. Further, at the employer’s cost, a second medical opinion may be obtained. But in the end, an employer does not have to accept at face value a certification for leave which appears to be invalid. For additional information as to this issue or for other assistance in employment law matters, please contact John B. Bechtol at 412.918.1115.