FMLA/CFRA Certification Mistakes You Never Want to Make

  • $249.00
  • Mar 26, 2019 (Recording)
  • 90 minutes

Medical certifications are used to help HR evaluate whether leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) must be granted and for how long. They are also useful for helping employers combat FMLA/CFRA abuse and fraud.

But, especially in California, employers are faced with many compliance questions. For instance:

  • May an employer use the Department of Labor’s model FMLA forms for certification of the serious health condition of an employee or family member?
  • Is it permissible to request a second opinion if the employer has reason to doubt the validity of a medical certification for the serious health condition of an employee’s covered family member?
  • May employers have an attendance policy that requires employees to submit a doctor’s note if they are sick for more than 3 consecutive days?
  • May an employer request a recertification of a medical condition every six months in connection with an absence by the employee?
  • May an employer request a second opinion if the employer has reason to doubt the validity on a fitness-for-duty certification?

And, these just a few of the questions California employers have! Unfortunately, there are many common ways companies continuously misuse medical certifications or the information gleaned from them. So, how can you be sure that your medical certification requests and requests for clarification due to ambiguous, missing, or contradictory medical information are being made in compliance with the voluminous federal and state regulations that govern FMLA/CFRA administration?

Unravel these regulations and get clear guidance at our webinar on March 26, when an experienced California-based employment attorney will explain the compliance tripwires to avoid when requesting medical certifications, determining whether to grant FMLA/CFRA leave based on what the medical certification says—or doesn’t say, and more.

You’ll learn:

  • Notice requirements concerning medical certifications in California
  • Where the California courts stand on the issues of whether (a) information provided on the standardized Kaiser Permanente form is sufficient to meet the medical certification requirements set forth by CFRA, and (b) an employer may require a fitness for duty exam if it has reason to doubt the employee’s return to work certification
  • What you can and can’t do when you receive incomplete or vague certifications under state and federal law
  • How to handle certification issues when an employee’s need for leave is the serious health condition of a family member
  • Certification requirements for intermittent or reduced schedule leave under California and federal law
  • The right way to challenge a medical certification under FMLA/CFRA regulations
  • Mistakes to avoid concerning return to work certifications
  • The consequences of an employee’s failure to provide sufficient medical certification in support of the need for FMLA/CFRA leave
  • And much more!


Cathleen S. Yonahara, Esq.

Cathleen Yonahara concentrates her practice on employment and labor law. Cathleen has successfully represented employers in courts and before various government agencies, including the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and the California Labor Commissioner. She has litigated all types of employment matters, including claims of discrimination, harassment, failure to accommodate, retaliation, wrongful termination, breach of contract, violation of California Family Rights Act, misappropriation of trade secrets, and wage and hour violations. Cathleen also represents clients in commercial business disputes.

In addition to her litigation practice, Cathleen also provides advice and counseling to employers on all aspects of the employment relationship in order to avoid potential legal disputes. She advises employers on the myriad legal requirements facing California employers including anti-discrimination and harassment laws, family and medical leave laws, wage and hour compliance, and proper classification of independent contractors and exempt employees. She conducts audits of her client’s employment practices, policies and agreements to ensure compliance with federal and state employment laws, and drafts employee handbooks and personnel policies, and employment, arbitration, confidentiality and severance agreements.

Cathleen serves as the Assistant Editor to the California Employment Law Letter, a semimonthly newsletter focused on current labor employment cases in California. She is a nationally recognized speaker and trainer on all aspects of the employment relationship.


This program has been pre-approved for 1.0 hours of general recertification credit toward PHR and SPHR recertification. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute website at

Business & Legal Resources (BLR) is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. This program is valid for 1.0 PDCs for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the SHRM Certification website at

FMLA/CFRA Certification Mistakes You Never Want to Make

On-Demand - $249.00


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