Muns v. Camden Cty. Bd. of Soc. Servs., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118579 (D.N.J. July 17, 2019)

Request for a second opinion medical examination does not give rise to a claim of interference under the FMLA.

The plaintiff suffered from Rheumatoid Arthritis and alleged both retaliation and interference claims under the FMLA. The plaintiff alleged that the employer’s request for a second opinion medical examination constituted interference and/or, alternatively, that such an examination is only allowed upon a showing of a “reasonable” basis to question the initial medical certification. In rejecting these arguments, Judge Kugler noted that the statute vested the employer with significant discretion to decide whether a medical certification was necessary and sufficient. In any case where the employer has reason to doubt the validity of a certification, it may require, at its expense, that the employee obtain the opinion of a second health care provider designated by the employer. The court specifically noted that no “reasonableness” requirement existed in the statute. 


Case Law Alerts, 4th Quarter, October 2019

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