Can my boss give me medical advice?

UPDATED: Jan 15, 2012

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Can my boss give me medical advice?

I met with my boss to discuss the amount of work I haveand that it is too much. My boss said that they feel I should see my psychiatrist about my medication having an effect on me to cause this. Is that inappropriate? I felt like my legitimate concern was dismissed.

Asked on January 15, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Can your boss give you medical advice--yes, the same as your parent, spouse, sibling, neighbor, barrista or bartender, barber or hair stylist, friend, or random person at the bustop can give you medical advice. Pretty much anyone may legally opine on any topic.

Must you take your boss's medical advice? Yes and no--the boss cannot make you see a psychiatrist (or take any other medical step) if you don't want to, but could terminate you (unless you have a contract protecting your job) if he wants, if you do not do something he feels you should.

Must a boss take an employee's concern, even a legitimate one, seriously? No--no law requries any boss or employer to listen to or take seriously their employee's concerns, unless there is either an employment contract which in some fashion obligates them to, or in regards to certain very narrow topics defined by law (e.g. an employer needs to take a concern about discrimination seriously, or potentially face liability.).

Unfortunately, while you  may well be correct in that what your boss did was bad management--and even unfair and insulting--the law does not require employers to be well run, or to treat their employees fairly.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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