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Doctor's Notes for Sick Days California

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  • Doctor's Notes for Sick Days California

    My employer says I am required to produce a doctorís note if I stay home from work due to illness. We do NOT have a PTO plan.

    My problem is:
    a) I canít always get an appointment with my doctor on any particular day and he would prefer it if I didnít come in just because I have a cold. (I should be in bed resting; his words).
    b) I donít think I should have to pay for a doctorís visit for a simple cold and use up my health benefits, because it is expensive to see him just to get a note.

    Can my employer require me to produce a doctorís note for a single day off for illness or appointment for medical care? This is a relatively new policy and we are paid for time off due to illness, I am salaried, but unsure if exempt. I have never been paid OT in almost 6 years and I am on call 24/7 with a 15 minute response time.

  • #2
    Originally posted by jjsocal View Post
    Can my employer require me to produce a doctorís note for a single day off for illness
    They can because it is not illegal for them to do that. Personally, I dislike the practice. I won't go see a doctor because I have a really bad cold that I can treat myself by staying home, drinking fluids and getting rest. I should not go to work and infect others.

    If an employee has excessive absenteeism, it does not matter if they thought they were sick or simply played hooky from work -- there is or should be a disciplinary process that can be followed.

    However, it is distressingly common for companies to require a doctor's note even for a one-day absence.
    Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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    • #3
      If they require it as a condition of employment (doctors visit), dont they have to pay for it?

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      • #4
        It's not required for employment with them, it's required in order to take a sick day. No, they are not required to do that. The other alternative is to go into work so that they can verify you are sick.

        Don't forget to shake hands with the boss...

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        • #5
          Restaurant in Cali

          I was the general manager a restaurant in California and the restaurant's policy was to require a doctors note anytime someone called in sick and if they didn't, two times would result in termination. We terminated an employee and we were taken to the labor board and had the meeting with the judge before the case goes to court. Long story short, the judge said that we could not terminate an employee for failing to bring in a doctors note. The judge stated that we could only require a doctors note if the employee misses 3 consecutive days of work. Is this written in the labor code anywhere for California? I can not find it in writing anywhere, but the judge that had our case said it was the law. We gave the employee their job back so it never went to an actual trial. I just wanted to know if this judge was making up his own laws or this is an actual law. I am wanting to know because I work for another company now that wants to implement sometime of similar policy and I informed them of my former run in with the labor board here in Fresno, CA. Thanks!!!

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          • #6
            Let me put it this way.

            If there is such a law, I've never heard of it, and if so, CA is the only state that has such a law.
            The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by cbg View Post
              Let me put it this way.

              If there is such a law, I've never heard of it, and if so, CA is the only state that has such a law.
              Me either.
              I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by OlsenCNC View Post
                the judge said that we could not terminate an employee for failing to bring in a doctors note. The judge stated that we could only require a doctors note if the employee misses 3 consecutive days of work.
                Nothing would surprise me in CA, but the judge should be able to point to the specific law or rule that requires this.
                Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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                • #9
                  Not a law as far as I know but it is very common for employers to use the "3 day" rule as a guideline.

                  So, when you just have a cold or an upset stomach or monster headache and lose a day or 2 it doesnt require a note. Once you hit the 3 day mark, then you potentially get into FMLA territory or sick leave abuse. No, I dont have vacation time left but I want to go somewhere so I am "sick" for a couple of days.
                  I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
                  Thomas Jefferson

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