Is it legal for HR to call my psychiatrist to check that they wrote me a note?

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Is it legal for HR to call my psychiatrist to check that they wrote me a note?

I provided HR a note from my psychiatrist for the reason of my absence and HR

called the psychiatrist to check that they wrote the note and found out that I have PTSD. Is this legal?

Asked on February 23, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal for an employer to contact a worker's psychiatrist to verify the validity of a doctor's note (i.e. did they in fact write it). What would be illegal is if the employer attempted to seek information as to why the employee was seeing the psychiatrist or other private patient information, other than that which was disclosed in the note.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal for HR or a manager to contact a medical provider to verify that the provider provided the note or diagnosis; they do not have to take an unverified piece of paper at face value, especially if they have some reasonable reason to suspect it could possibly be fake. 


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