What happens with an employee’s FMLA documentation?

An employee is not required to disclose the specific nature of a serious health condition or provide medical records to his/her leave approving official - only that FMLA leave is requested for a condition that satisfies FMLA requirements. As such, the employee may either submit medical certification directly to his/her leaving approving official or to Occupational Medical Service (OMS) to maintain confidentially. OMS can attest whether the employee qualifies for a FMLA-approved condition and nature of duration for leave granting purposes. While OMS may comment on the existence or nonexistence of a serious health condition that qualifies for FMLA leave, only the leave approving official may approve or disapprove the FMLA leave. An Employee/Labor Relations Specialist who services the employee’s Institute/Center can help the employee’s supervisor with navigating concerns/guidance for employees invoking FMLA.

The employee’s certification and paperwork for FMLA must be secured whenever not in use or under the direct control of authorized persons. It must be stored in metal filing cabinets which are locked when the records are not in use, or in a secured room. The paperwork will be safely stored and destroyed one year after the employee returns from FMLA leave.