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Employee adamant about doctor's information Illinois

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  • Employee adamant about doctor's information Illinois

    We have an employee who has had an ear infection and the doctor said it was caused by the ear bud the employee is required to wear during their shift. This doctor stated the employee needed to switch ears back and forth daily and clean the ear piece regularly. After his appointment, the employee came into work and absolutely insisted we tell all the employees the ear buds cause infections and must be swtiched from ear to ear during their shifts.

    While I believe it is plausible we could provide some "training" on how to care for your radio and ear piece, I'm concerned this employee could make his issue a worker's comp issue if we acknowledge what his doctor says. (We don't know that every doctor feels ear buds need to be changed from ear to ear during the day.) What would your recommendation be in handling this situation? We certainly don't want this employee out on the floor or in the break room spouting off about what their doctor said getting everyone onboard for worker comp concerns, but we also don't want this him to feel the issue fell on deaf ears either. Suggestions?

  • #2
    How do you know the doctor said this? And how do you know the doctor meant (if indeed the doctor said this) that all ear buds must be switched back and forth all day long? Maybe the doctor only meant (if indeed the doctor said this) that this particular employee needed to switch his earbuds back and forth, in order to heal the infection.

    I think you need to find all this out first before determining next steps.


    • #3
      Was this made as a workers compensation claim? Even if not, I would tend to seek the advice of my insurance broker and WC insurance company. Do you require the employee(s) to wear earbuds? Or is it a choice?

      I could see if he raises the issue and you do nothing, someone could come back and claim that you SHOULD have told everyone. I would seek a professional opinion or two (maybe even ask the manufacturer of the equipment their advice) and then make an informed decision. I am sure there are multiple opinions......but you need to find the one that brings the employer the least risk.
      Last edited by hr for me; 03-07-2013, 09:36 AM.


      • #4
        If these are normals ear buds I wouldn't be warning everyone. People wear ear buds for hours a day listening to music and shows on the phones and tablets. I can see instructing employees on cleaning them since you want company property kept in good repair.