serious health condition for which the current need for family and medical leave exists.  The agency may not require any personal or confidential information in the written medical certification other than that required by paragraph (b) of this section.  If an employee submits a completed medical certification signed by the health care provider, the agency may not request new information from the health care provider.  However, a health care provider representing the agency, including a health care provider employed by the agency or under administrative oversight of the agency,  may contact the health care provider who completed the medical certification, with the employee's permission, for purposes of clarifying the medical certification.
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(i)  For leave taken for the purposes of pregnancy, chronic conditions, or long-term conditions under the continuing supervision of a health care provider, as these terms are defined in § 630.1202 in the definition of "serious health condition" under paragraphs (2)(ii), (iii), and (iv),  the agency may require, at the agency's expense, subsequent medical recertification from the health care provider on a periodic basis, but not more often than every 30 calendar days.  For leave taken for all other serious health conditions and including leave taken on an intermittent or reduced leave schedule, if the health care provider has specified on the medical certification a minimum duration of the period of incapacity, the agency may not request recertification until that period has passed.  An agency may require subsequent medical recertification more frequently than every 30 calendar days, or more frequently than the minimum duration of the period of incapacity specified on the medical certification, if the employe requests that the original leave period be extended, the circumstances described in the original medical certification have changed significantly, or the agency receives information that casts doubt upon the continuing validity of the medical certification.
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15.  In § 630.1208, paragraphs (b)(5), (h), and (i) are revised, and paragraph (k) is added to read as follows:

§ 630.1208  Protection of employment and benefits.
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(b)    *    *    *
  (5)  The same or equivalent opportunity for a within-grade increase, performance award, incentive award, or other similar discretionary and non-discretionary payments, consistent with applicable laws and regulations; however, the entitlement to be returned to an equivalent position does not extend to intangible or unmeasurable aspects of the job;
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(h)  As a condition to returning an employee who takes leave under § 630.1203(a)(4), an agency may establish a uniformly applied practice or policy that requires all similarly-situated employees (i.e., same occupation, same serious health condition) to obtain written medical certification from the health care provider of the employee that the employee is able to perform the essential functions of his or her position.  An agency may delay the return of an employee until the medical certification is provided.  The same conditions