The Employer’s Right To Request Medical Documentation

A good article indicating the responsibilities of employers and employees in obtaining and providing medical information around absences.  If in doubt, reach out to us, an HR consultant, and/or employment lawyer, especially in the messier situations.

“In the post-pandemic era, employees and employers alike are more cognizant of the importance of keeping sick workers home to contain and prevent the spread of illness. In addition, employers should be keenly aware of their duty to make diligent efforts to accommodate employees with disabilities, which may include providing additional time off or permitting the taking of unpaid leave.

At the same time, chronic and excessive absences can have a significant impact on workplace operations, and may detrimentally affect employers’ bottom lines. As such, employers have a legitimate interest in counteracting chronic absenteeism and ensuring that healthy workers attend work, and only those employees who are actually unable to work due to illness or disability are granted leave or other benefits.

To ensure employees are taking sick leave or benefits for a bona fide reason, arbitrators have held that employers have the right to inquire into absences from work and employees have a continuing obligation to account for their absence, including absences due to illness. Employees have the obligation to provide their employers with “sufficient proof” that their absence was a result of illness or injury. Once an employee provides with the requisite proof of illness or injury, the right to the leave or other benefits is guaranteed….”