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Patrick, Esq.
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I have been off work on a medical leave-of-absense for about

Resolved Question:

I have been off work on a medical leave-of-absense for about six months. My doctor recently released me to return to work with no restrictions. I provided the release to my employer on the form that the employer required. Now, the employer wants me to see a doctor of their choice before I return to work. I can't find any written requirement for a second opinion, and since the employer is a hospital, I'm not comfortable with seeing a doctor of their choice. The employer is apparently nervous because the leave was due to a back surgery. Can I be required to get a second medical opinion?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 years ago.

LegalPro54 :

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. Yes, an employer is typically allowed to require employees to obtain a second medical opinion.

LegalPro54 :

Typically, the employer must pay for such a doctor's exam.

LegalPro54 :

While the employer may choose the health care provider for the second opinion, they may not in most cases choose a provider whose services they regularly use.

LegalPro54 :

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX this information helps you and I wish you the very best of luck. Bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.


LegalPro54 :

If my answer has been helpful to you, please remember to "accept" it so that I may receive credit for my time. If you need additional clarification, please do not hesitate to ask. Thank you kindly.


Just to be clear, this was not worker's comp. The employer has no written requirement for anything other than a release from the doctor - which was obtained on the employer's form. Does that change anything?

LegalPro54 :

This would not change the above response. If an employer believes that an employee is not able to perform a job successfully or safely because of a medical condition, they may typically request medical verification upon the employee's return from a leave of absence. They would not, however, be able to demand independent medical verification if it was for some sort of improper purpose, such as harassment.

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