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Employment Law/intermittent FMLA



I was wondering if you could provide some information about FMLA requirements. I've been approved for intermittent FMLA to go to therapy and psych appts and also in the event i have a psychiatric emergency.

Recently, i did. without going too much into this- i tend to have bizarre reactions to stress...seizures, hallucinations, inflammatory skin conditions, dissociation, hair falls out... I felt myself heading in that direction and decided i needed to take a time out to take care of myself. i notified my drs and employer. my dr said he recommended i not return to work until he had a chance to see me. while i was there, i asked him to write me a letter stating i could return to work. he asked me if i thought i was able to and i said yes, even though i was still having symptoms. my employer told me i couldnt return without a letter stating i could so i was more focused on being allowed to go back. i didnt like that my employer and dr kind of hijacked my healing time when i am the best person to determine whether im ok and feel ok or not. bc i said i was ready, my dr wrote a letter stating i could return to work that day (in practice it would be the next day).

once i got home, i started thinking more about whether i was truly ready. the day i was planning to return just happens to be the busiest and most stressful day in clinic (and was a tipping point the week before) and also happened to be my 3rd anniversary since my last grand mal seizure. the more i thought about it, the more i felt it wasnt a good idea to risk exacerbating the still present anxiety by returning on the most stressful day of the week. i emailed my dr to ask if this was ok- to return on th bc it was a less crazy day, more calm... he was on his way to a conference so he didnt respond and i made the decision for myself that it wasnt worth risking 3 years of no seizures etc for 1 day.

i gave my employer the letter from my dr but because i came back a day later, they want a new letter. i had hoped my dr would write one but he was hesitant to write the first one. he said he is unable to write another- i suppose because even though i let him know how i was feeling, he still didnt agree to that.

is the length of fmla determined only by a dr? i'm not sure what to do at this point and quite honestly, dont want to add something else to worry about...i think i was doing the best thing for me- something i didnt do in the past and resulted in devastating results- but now i will be punished for it because i made the decision on my own when my dr couldnt be reached. i guess im wondering if you have any suggestions etc. ive never taken fmla before so every piece of this was new. if nothing else, lesson learned i guess...

thank you!

Hi Katie,

FMLA is determined by a doctor. You will need a doctor's letter to be eligible for FMLA. If that doctor will not write you a letter and you feel your condition is such you need the time off than I would suggest that you go see another doctor that can better evaluate your condition.

The law says that the company must have a doctor's note to excuse you from work.


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Shirley McAllister, CPP, PHR


I can answer questions about payroll laws and payroll tax laws and Human Resource laws and agencies. I can answer federal payroll and human resource law questions and most states; I do not have a knowledge of the local taxes for cities and counties within the state. If and when I can I will try and send you the website where you can reference the answer and where you can obtain more information as well as a contact number if needed for that particular agency. Some agencies I have worked with are IRS, Department of Labor (federal and state), Revenue Canada (and provincial governments), Inland Revenue, OSHA (0ccupational Safety and Health Administration); Social Security Administration and National Child Support as well as other agencies in Payroll and Human Resources. Some Laws I am particularly familiar with are FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act), FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act ) , QDRO's, QMCSO's, and other support orders and garnishments, USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Remployment Rights Act,PPA Act (Pension Protection Act of 2006, As well as most other employment type acts. I am also well versed in the Title V Civil Rights Act and the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).


30 years in Payroll and Human Resources

SHRM (Society of Human Resources) APA (American Payroll Association) DOLEA (Department of Labor Employers Association) CPA (Canadian Payroll Association) NAPW (National Association of Professional Women) The Mentoring Network

PHR Certification in Human Resources CPP Certification in Payroll in U.S. Payroll Administrator and Payroll Supervisor certification in Canada

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