is a doctors note a legal document?

I was fired because I changed a date on a doctors note because I had
worked over the hours allotted on my previous doctors note and I
didn’t want trouble with payroll or cause trouble for my boss. My
doctor was supposed to back date the note when she saw me but didn’t.
The thought didn’t even cross my mind that this was a legal issue and
I would call my doctor and get an amended note. I was asked to turn
in my time card early and I knew my boss would get in trouble for
allowing me to work the extra time so I felt backed into a corner and
changed it. I was accused of being unethical, immoral and had done
something illegal by personnel. There was no intent and I pride
myself on always doing the right thing. I am deeply hurt and feel
they were looking to get rid of me because I have serious medical
issues right now and can’t work full time.

Asked on February 27, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not such a doctor's note is a legal document is not the issue. The fact is that in an "at will" employment relationship, an employee can be fired for this reason, any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice. That is unless such action violates the terms of an employment contract or union agreement or constitutes some form of legally actionable discrimnation (none of which you indicated). Otherwise, your employer's action was perfectly permissable under the law.

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