Can my employer demand a doctor’s note of fitness to return to work if I never took any time off or even left early?

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Can my employer demand a doctor’s note of fitness to return to work if I never took any time off or even left early?

I was complaining to a coworker that I had a sore throat, but still worked entire shift. I saw a doctor that night to test for strep, which was negative. I also had routine blood work done which was all negative. My manager caught wind of this and is now demanding a doctor’s note saying I am fit to return to work even though I never took time off for sickness and had a clean bill of health. Is it

invasive for her to have asked about my symptoms and appointments while not even at work? If I am an adult who says I am not and never was sick, can they require a note?

Asked on May 16, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, she can require this. Employers have very broad discretion to take actions relating to the job or workplace, and your employer also has the right, unless you have a written employment contract to the contrary, to suspend or even terminate you at any time, for any reason ("employment at will"). The employer could request proof that you are not contagious, so as to avoid sickening other employees (and hurting productivity) or possibly customers or clients (and hurting sales): this is a reasonable, work-related request, and your employer can refuse to allow you to work until and unless you do this. Get a not from the doctor who did the tests for you.


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