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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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medical certification required

Customer Question

Can an employer in California require a medical certification when I am out sick? What if I have excessive medical absentees, 1-2 days? If my employer pays for sick time off, and I have exhausted the policy more than all the other workers combined, can they fired me? And if the company pays for sick days, and they suspect that the medical certification is false, can they request a second opinion for a headache, just to verify that I am too sick to come in?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 3 years ago.
An employer cannot require that an employee obtain a medical certification at the employee's expense, except where the employee has exercised federal Family and Medical Leave Benefits (or California Family Rights Act benefits) -- neither of which apply unless the employee has requested at least four days leave. However, an employer can pay for an employee to receive a medical exam, if job-related and consistent with business necessity.

Unless your employment has some extreme health and safety component, where a headache was an indicator of your unfitness to work, it would be practically impossible to prove that you need a medical exam.

That said, you can refuse to take the examination, the employer can simply fire you in response, and it would then be up to you to sue the employee for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Hope this helps.


And, if you need to contact me again, please put my user id on the title line of your question (“ToCustomerrdquo;), and the system will send me an alert. Thanks!


socrateaser, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 34857
Experience: Retired (mostly)
socrateaser and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Since they questioned my absentee for that specific day, and they are questioning my excessive other absentees, I am upset. The manager met with me and wrote a statement confirming that my absentees have been an on-going problem. So in return, eventhough I just completed my Workers Comp treatments, and have medical clearance for a separate issues, I decided to go on Medical Disability. Does this look bad on me, since the manager technically wrote me up, and I in return went on disability?
Expert:  socrateaser replied 3 years ago.
I see you found my first answer too general. I don't know how much more specific I could have been under the circumstances -- however, before you decide to leave feedback in the future, if you ask me specific questions, then I will be happy to give you specific answers.

That said, you asked:

Since they questioned my absentee for that specific day, and they are questioning my excessive other absentees, I am upset. The manager met with me and wrote a statement confirming that my absentees have been an on-going problem. So in return, eventhough I just completed my Workers Comp treatments, and have medical clearance for a separate issues, I decided to go on Medical Disability. Does this look bad on me, since the manager technically wrote me up, and I in return went on disability?

A: The issue here is whether or not you are being retaliated against for exercising your rights to workers compensation benefits (which is illegal), or whether the employer is simply acting on your failure to perform your job adequately (in the employer's view). This is not a question with a definitive answer -- only a judge could decide after hearing all of the facts and circumstances.

As a separate matter, if you are having difficulties performing your job, for whatever reason, you can request "reasonable accommodations" under the ADA (which means nothing more than informing the employer (best done in writing) that you need such accommodations (and you don't even have to state what accommodations you require), and then it becomes the employer's obligation to try to find accommodations that will permit you to perform your job. The employer could still fire you, if it believes that accommodating you will create an undue hardship -- but if it does so, then you can file a discrimination charge with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing -- or hire a lawyer and sue.

To file a DFEH charge, see this link.

For an employment rights attorney referral (including either workers comp violations or disability discrimination), see this link.

Hope this helps.


And, if you need to contact me again, please put my user id on the title line of your question (“ToCustomerrdquo;), and the system will send me an alert. Thanks!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Can my employer use statements and pictures from Facebook that I post, having fun out and about, at water parks, clubs, etc. as evidence against me while on disability leave?
Expert:  socrateaser replied 3 years ago.
Anything you place into the public domain is fair game for an employer (and anyone else) to use against you in court.

The good news about facebook.com is that a lot of things can be removed (but, not everything).

Hope this help.


And, if you need to contact me again, please put my user id on the title line of your question (“ToCustomerrdquo;), and the system will send me an alert. Thanks!


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