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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    1

    Default How Much Information Can My Employer Get About My Illness

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Illinois

    Recently I had to take a few unapproved sick days (though I had another employee cover for me), and now my employer wants a doctors note for everyday I was out. I was wondering what is legally considered a doctors note, and how much information do I have to give to my employer about my illness? Also, if I was to be fired because I could not work, do I qualify for unemployment?

    Illness: Severe panic attacks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,360

    Default Re: How Much Information Can My Employeer Get About My Illness

    What is considered a "doctor's note" for purposes of excused absences is up to the employer; you'll have to ask.

    Having said this, however, I had a co-worker once who had sever panic attacks, and she applied for, and received, intermittent FMLA job protection for this condition.

    Have you asked HR about FMLA?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    17,129

    Default Re: How Much Information Can My Employeer Get About My Illness

    How much information you have to give out is variable, but it has to be enough so that they can determine whether any legal protections exist. You can be cutting yourself off from protected leave or accomodations if you refuse to provide them with the information required for them to know that the protection is needed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    North East
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: How Much Information Can My Employeer Get About My Illness

    My understanding is that you don't have to give an employer any health information about yourself.

    Your doctors note will just have to say:

    To whom it may concern

    Please excuse John Doe from work as he was under my care

    Signed by the doctor on an official doctors note that has the doctors name, license number, address and phone number.

    That is enough information for your employer to know.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Il.(near StL,Mo.)
    Posts
    5,252

    Default Re: How Much Information Can My Employeer Get About My Illness

    That "might" be enough but the employer will most likely want enough info (as cbg said) to see if you qualify for any job protected leave (FMLA) or any accommodation.

    Regarding unemployment ins. - if you get fired for being absent (& there's no job protection), it will be up to the state to decide if you receive UI or not. Their opinion is the only one that counts.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    17,129

    Default Re: How Much Information Can My Employeer Get About My Illness

    Your understanding is incorrect. What you have suggested is not remotely enough information for an employer to know if FMLA or the ADA applies.

    So, as I said, an employee who refused to turn in any more information than that, may be cutting himself off from any protections. The employer is NOT required by any law to approve time off regardless of what a doctor might say unless FMLA, a state version thereof, or possibly the ADA (depending on circumstances) applies. The note you suggest is insufficient to protect an employee's job if the employer doesn't want it to be.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
    Posts
    5,276

    Default Re: How Much Information Can My Employeer Get About My Illness

    BUSTED ! Taking sick days w/o being sick ... well you should get UI ...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    North East
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: How Much Information Can My Employeer Get About My Illness

    I'm referring to the original post, in that post they mention nothing about FMLA or ADA. Ratkoon doesn't have to give any heath information at all.

    "My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Illinois

    Recently I had to take a few unapproved sick days (though I had another employee cover for me), and now my employer wants a doctors note for everyday I was out. I was wondering what is legally considered a doctors note, and how much information do I have to give to my employer about my illness? Also, if I was to be fired because I could not work, do I qualify for unemployment?

    Illness: Severe panic attacks"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,360

    Default Re: How Much Information Can My Employeer Get About My Illness

    If the employee does not provide enough information for the employer to at least suspect that FMLA MIGHT be applicable, the employee is subject to whatever rules the employer imposes. If the employee does not provide this information, his absences are not protected and he can legally be fired.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    17,129

    Default Re: How Much Information Can My Employeer Get About My Illness

    Let's be clear about this. If FMLA and the ADA are not involved, then you are correct that the employee does not legally have to give out any medical information at all. BUT the flip side of that is that in that case, the employer does not legally have to keep the employee employed.

    A doctor's note has no force in law outside of FMLA and the ADA. Outside of FMLA and the ADA, if the employee handed the employer the note that you suggest, the employee could legally be fired. Yes, the employee would be within their legal rights. But so would the employer.

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