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Medical Release Papers

Can a doctor refuse to sign a doctors release form or other paperwork?

There is no law that requires a doctor to complete work release forms or similar paperwork even though such paperwork may be required in order for an employee to receive certain state and federal benefits. It’s unusual for a doctor to refuse to complete work related medical paperwork without an explanation to the patient. There are a few possible explanations.

The purpose of medical release forms is to inform the employer that an employee is able to perform his work responsibilities. Doctors may refuse to complete return to work paperwork if there is doubt regarding the employee’s physical or mental ability to perform said responsibilities.

Also, doctors may not believe an individual is qualified for certain benefits such as disability or protected leave; thus, refusing to complete the applicable paperwork. This decision is not up to the doctor; however, it could be a reason.

Lastly, an individual may be requesting the doctor to withhold certain information from the forms; so, the doctor is simply refusing to complete them at all.

Again, it’s unusual for a doctor to completely refuse to complete any work related medical forms without a reason but the doctor’s action or lack thereof isn’t breaking any law.

An employer is within its rights to require certain work related medical paperwork be submitted from a qualified practitioner for certain benefits. Thus, if an employee states that his doctor refuses to complete necessary paperwork, the employer may deny the employee access to certain benefits for failure to provide appropriate medical certification, i.e. protected leave under the federal Family & Medical Leave Act.

This entry was posted on Saturday, July 18th, 2015 at 7:20 pm and is filed under
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