CWA stewards are invited to send general questions for the new Stewards Forum to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When a member is on approved FMLA leave for diabetes, (has been out 4 days this time; is approved for 5 day per occurrence) does the company have the right to make the member see a doctor of the company's choice?
The company does NOT have the right to send the employee to its own doctor unless the medical certification submitted by the employee's health care provider is subject to challenge of some kind. Normally, the employee submits a medical certification form which indicates the nature of the condition, the likely duration of the leave and that it qualifies as a serious health condition covered by the FMLA. If the company challenges this, it can send the employee for a second opinion (at the company's expense) and even a third opinion if the second still raises questions. If the information from the employee's health care provider meets the minimum required by the DOL (an acceptable medical certification form is attached to the DOL's FMLA regulations), and contains no questions or ambiguities, the company must accept the information as accurate.
Can each department have its own procedure to file FMLA, or should it be universal within the company?
In general, an employer is obligated to provide FMLA information to all employees in readily accessible forms, e.g. bulletin boards, employee handbooks if they exist and in correspondence explaining the process for being approved for FMLA leave. Such procedures must be uniformly applied to all employees and cannot vary by department, division etc.