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Monday, October 25, 2010

Can I Ask An Employee Why He is Going to the Doctor?

No one wants to invade an employee's privacy or violate any laws, but if an employee seems to be abusing the system, can you ask why he's going to the doctor?

Can I Ask An Employee Why He is Going to the Doctor?

7 comments:

Byron J. said...

I believe you can ask for a doctor's note that says when he or she was actually at the doctor's office (so you can also know what kind of doctor they are seeing) and also if they are able to return to full duty, and if not at this time when. This sounds like the best place to start to me.

Anonymous said...

Are these FMLA qualified leaves? If so, the physican certification portion of the FMLA paperwork will give duration, possible intermittant leave. If not FMLA eligible due to employer size, a doctors note as presented above should suffice to prevent abuse. What type of policy for sick leave does the company have. If a Short term disability policy - you can have the Physician complete a certification as to the nature, extent of the leave

Hope said...

I don't think one can personally ask why someone is going to the doctor, but I feel that is ok for a doctor's excuse to be asked for from the employee. I feel that asking one why they are visiting the doctor is very personal, even if there is suspicion that the employee is abusing the system.

Desiree said...

I agree with Hope. An employee's privacy must be respected. He or she may have a good excuse. If this employee continues to miss work, request a doctor's note. Most places require one if someone misses 2 to 3 days at one time.

Milton Keynes Recruitment said...

I too agree with Hope. However if there's enough reasons to 'assume' the employee is abusing the system, you can ask for a doctor's note that doesn't include any personal details.

Bashir said...

I do concur with Hope that asking why is too personal and but if there is objectively proven reasons as to the employee abusing the system your HR policy should be able to pick up and asses the abuse and then help you follow due process.Avoid following your gut feeling that the employee is abusing the system lest that you are sued for breaching an employees right to privacy.
Bashir

ein echter Heiner said...

I think you should/must not ask why he is going to the doc. But I am convinced it helps to talk to the individual in a private and comfortable setting. Carefully offer him the help you can give. Always be aware that the are health conditions not immediately obvious, that require intense and long treatment.