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Medical Concern for Employee

We have an employee complaining of chest pains to another employee. The coworker recommends medical attention but the employee complaining of the chest pains refuses. What is the responsibility of HR and what is the companies liability?

HR should talk to the employee and determine the severity of the situation. Don’t rely on hearsay. The employee can’t be forced to seek medical treatment. However, the safety risk the employee potentially poses to himself and his co-workers by remaining on the job while ill must be considered.

What are the employee’s essential job duties? Is heavy lifting or other manual work required of the employee? Is the employee required to operate heavy machinery or transportation vehicles? Is the employee expected to work long hours or in stressful conditions? Does the employee’s work require him to care for others?

Remember, it’s the employer’s responsibility to ensure a safe work environment for its employees. So, if you have any concerns regarding the employee’s ability to safely perform his job duties then consider requiring the employee to submit a doctor’s note which clearly states the employee is able to perform his work duties.

Company liability usually comes under consideration if the employer knowingly allowed an employee to perform duties that placed himself or his coworkers at risk. For example, if the employee complained of chest pains but you allowed him to continue to perform his duties as a bus driver, you would most likely be held liable if he had an accident while having a heart attack.


This entry was posted on Saturday, September 26th, 2015 at 9:38 pm and is filed under
Workplace Health & Safety.
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