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Medical excuse

A part time employee will be taking her scheduled 3 days off for a “surgical procedure”. Is a medical excuse to come back to work needed? I did not ask her the procedure she was getting.

Requesting a doctor’s note to excuse the employee’s absence from work is at the discretion of the employer. A doctor’s note will verify the employee was in fact having a medical procedure done and not on vacation. The requirement of providing a doctor’s note should be applied consistently and uniformly to all employees. Many employers have policies requiring employees to provide a doctor’s note after three days of missed work.

A doctor’s note may also be required to ensure the employee is physically able to return to work after her procedure. An employer is within its rights to verify the ability of an employee to perform work functions while ensuring the employee is not a safety risk to herself or others.

If you’re concerned about the employee being physically able to return to work after her procedure, consider speaking with her about the situation. Focus on your concern for her to return to work only three days after a medical procedure and that you want to ensure she is physically able to do so for safety reasons.

The employee may divulge the procedure and you may be able to determine that there is no safety concern. However, if she prefers not to disclose the procedure, respect her wishes and request that she provides a doctor’s note verifying that she is able to return to work after three days. If the employee has a physically demanding job, it’s advisable to have the doctor sign off on the employee’s job description in order to confirm the doctor is aware of the physical demands of the job.

This entry was posted on Monday, April 13th, 2015 at 1:16 pm and is filed under
Attendance Management.
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