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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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HI, Does an employee have the right to access medical records

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Does an employee have the right to access medical records for employer paid fitness for duty testing from the doctor that did the exam?
Good afternoon and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do everything I can to answer your question.

California law requires that employers allow employees and former employees access to their personnel file. "Personnel file" includes all documents "relating to the employee's performance," which medical records concerning the employee's fitness for duty certainly do.

A request for your personnel file can be made verbally or in writing, but it is always better to do it in writing and specifically reference Labor Code 1198.5. That way there is record of your request (penalties are imposed if employers refuse or ignore a personnel file request) and your employer knows that you are aware of your rights.

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes and kindest regards.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

But I want to go to the medical provider, the doctor and get copies of my medical chart from the testing, and they have said they can't give it to me, that since it was paid by the employer for fitness-specific to the job- it is under different laws than if I had gone there myself and paid for an exam.

Do they have the right to tell me NO when I request copy of my chart?


There is no law prohibiting a medical provider from refusing to provide copies of medical records to a patient. However, this is not an issue because you can si mply request these records from your employer, who obviously has copies, by making a personnel file request. That provides a solution to your problem.

Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. I am more than happy to continue assisting you if necessary.
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