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Release to work Arizona

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  • Release to work Arizona

    Sometimes if we know an employee has sustained a serious injury or illness that might impact their ability to work (even if it didn't occur on our property) we will ask them to get a note from a doctor establishing that they are healthy enough to return to work. This is primarily to make sure we don't accidentally damage them further. We have an employee that was hospitalized for nearly a week, and she tells us her doctor called it a mini-stroke, but prescribed no meds, only diet and exercise. He is unwilling to write a note saying she is fit to return to work without restrictions.
    My questions are:
    1) Do we expose ourselves to any liability by putting her back to work without any assurance from her doctor, if she should have another episode?
    2) She has offered to write us a note, herself, saying that her doctor refused to do this and that she absolves us of any said liability. Is this something we should consider?
    3) Are we overthinking the whole thing? If she says she's fine, should we just put her back to work without anybody writing anything?

    As always, thank you in advance for your input.

  • #2
    The employee cannot waive their Worker's Compensation rights for number two

    I would refuse to let her return without a fit for the recertification from some doctor -- because yes there is liability and n #1

    3. No

    Our policy requires this hinestlly I would not waive it. Do you wonder why her doctor won't write her a note. Might mean that she's actually not ready to return to work


    • #3
      Originally posted by hr for me View Post
      Do you wonder why her doctor won't write her a note. Might mean that she's actually not ready to return to work
      That was what crossed my mind, too.


      • #4
        if FMLA comes into play, you can require her to have that paperwork completed but can't require her to take more time than she needs, but you can still require a fitness for duty release. From FLMA elaws (DOL): "As a condition of restoring an employee whose FMLA leave was due to the employee's own serious health condition that made the employee unable to perform the employee's job, an employer may have a uniformly-applied policy or practice that requires all similarly-situated employees to obtain and present certification from the employee's health care provider that the employee is able to resume work. The employee has the same obligations to participate and cooperate in the fitness-for-duty certification process as in the initial certification process and is responsible for any associated costs. "

        And honestly if it can be required under FMLA leaves, then it definitely can be under non-FMLA but should be applied consistently!


        • #5
          That is very helpful! And yes, we are consistent in our requirements. Thank you for your comments!