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Fake Doctor’s Notes and FMLA Certifications


The primary purpose of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is to allow employees of eligible employers to seek unpaid leave while having guaranteed job protection in the event they need to seek leave from their employment to care for their own serious health condition or to care for a family member with a serious health condition. However, as a prerequisite to granting leave pursuant to the FMLA, an employer may require the employee seeking leave to obtain a medical certification that supports the existence of a serious health condition. Given this requirement, employees sometimes try to create fake references and doctor’s notices to seek FMLA leave on an expedited basis or if they are otherwise not entitled to take it.

Basic Requirements for Medical Certification

There are several requirements for each medical certification under the FMLA:

  1. Signature and contact information for the employer’s health care provider;
  2. Statement of care needed for the illness;
  3. Summary of the illness/condition;
  4. Dates of requested leave;
  5. Information supporting necessity of granting leave; and
  6. A statement that the employee cannot perform their ordinary job functions (only applies where an employee is requesting leave based on his own condition).

Background of Deception Services

There are unfortunately several deception services that provide fake doctor’s notes and medical certifications for employees to seek leave pursuant to the FMLA. One of these businesses is known as Paladin Deception Services. Paladin Deception Services asks for a small payment of $69 and in return, they will create a fake doctor’s note describing your alleged illness that has the complete requirements for a medical certification under the FMLA. The deception service will take on a fake name and title and designate agents to take calls from employers to back-up their fake documents. After every phone call they have with the employer, they will go back and give a summary to the employee to ensure everyone is on the same page.

What Does This Mean For My FMLA Claim?

Unfortunately, because of deception services like the ones Paladin provides, employers may take some additional precautions to ensure an employee’s FMLA claim is real:

  1. The employer may ask the employee for an in-person interview to discuss the employee’s claim.
  2. The employer may ask for additional notes from other treating physicians to substantiate the employee’s claims.
  3. The employer may require that the employee complete a leave of absence form.

It is important to hire an experienced employment attorney to help you understand what your employer is entitled to receive before granting or denying your FMLA claim.

Contact an Experienced Clearwater Employment Lawyer

You should not resort to obtaining a fake doctor’s note in lieu of a FMLA certification as this may put you at risk for not being protected under the FMLA. The skilled employment employment lawyers at Dilla Employment Law, P.A. in Clearwater, Florida can help you ensure your certification complies with the FMLA so you can seek leave and have guaranteed job protection when you return. Contact us today for a free case review.

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