Established 1958 ~ Hardball Business Litigation & Complex Negotiations

Do I Need to Provide a Doctor’s Note to an Employer?

Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green.

Calling in sick is a common occurrence, and employers often have requirements for doing so. Workers might get sick and suffer injuries while away from work that are unpredictable, but your employer may still have requirements for you to fulfill after your sick leave.

Your employer might require you to call in at least an hour prior to your shift to notify your supervisor. That gives your employer the opportunity to call in another worker to cover your shift. Exceptions to call-in procedures often include a car accident or similar emergency that makes it impossible to work or even provide notice right away.

Whenever possible, it is a good idea to support your sick call or emergency with a doctor’s note. Your employer should not require one or even ask for one due to one or even two consecutive shifts missed due to illness or injury.

When you miss three or more days, your employer usually has the right to require a doctor’s note, though this may vary based on location and sector of work. The doctor’s note should briefly describe your illness or injury.

Importance of a Doctor’s Note

A doctor’s note does more than confirm that you suffered from a medical condition that required you to miss one or more days of work: it also helps to protect your coworkers, managers, and visitors at your place of work.

If you were sick with a potentially dangerous and highly contagious illness, like COVID-19 and were to return to work while still sick, that could spread the illness. Likewise, returning too soon from an injury that reduces your ability to perform your work could be dangerous to yourself or others. A doctor’s note that says you are fully recovered and capable of working safely could protect the general workplace.

Your Work Contract Might Detail Requirements for a Doctor’s Note

Your employment contract may detail the exact process for calling in sick and providing a doctor’s note. If you have union membership, collective bargaining likely details procedures for calling in sick. Those procedures should say when a doctor’s note would be required.

You also might have an individual work contract that details how to call in sick and when a doctor’s note is needed. Whenever a work contract says how to call in sick and when a doctor’s note is needed, you must abide by the contract.

Philadelphia’s Sick Time Law and Doctor’s Note Requirements

If you work in Philadelphia, the city’s paid sick time law provides you with up to 40 hours of sick leave. The law covers full-time and part-time workers who do not already have up to 40 hours of paid sick leave available.

Anyone who has worked at least 40 hours with an employer in Philadelphia qualifies for sick leave. The law will not add more hours to already existing paid sick leave that you might have accrued.

If a job provider has 10 or more employees, the sick worker gets paid for up to 40 hours of leave time per year. If the employer has less than 10 workers, there is no pay for the time off, but the worker has the right to return to work.

Philadelphia’s sick leave law says that you do not have to provide a doctor’s note for missing work for up to two consecutive days. It does require one when you miss three or more days, though.

Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green

You can obtain legal help to uphold your workplace rights from our experienced Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green. You can call us at 215-574-0600 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation at our Philadelphia law office. We represent clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.