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Ask Asad Rahman Your Own Question
Asad Rahman
Asad Rahman, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 2156
Experience:  Practicing Attorney with 10 years experience
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I am currently 3of4 weeks through my recovery from my

Customer Question

I am currently 3of4 weeks through my recovery from my medical procedure. Last week I was email a 'Return to work' form that my doctor needs to sign to return back to duty. I have not discussed this form with anyone, especially my co-workers. I was asked today if I got my form in by my co-work, "Tom" who is currently working behind me. I asked why he was asking about that form and he replied, "Boss said you need together it in before anything else," I quickly ended the conversation and didn't answer any of the current questions.
Is an employer's document that needs a doctors signature fall under HIPPA?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Asad Rahman replied 1 year ago.

HIPAA does not specifically address "return to work notes," and these would not be exempt under HIPAA from the requirement that the disclosure be authorized by the patient. That is, the provider, who is a covered entity, would need your written permission to release any information to your employer.

However, employment law varies from state to state, and HIPAA doesn't address employee health records. Therefore, while your physician is not allowed to release information to your employer without your written permission (unless you have a workers' compensation claim, and then only information directly pertaining to the injury may be released), nothing in HIPAA forbids employers (who are not covered entities) from asking you to provide that written permission and/or diagnosis information to authorize the use of sick leave.

Expert:  Asad Rahman replied 1 year ago.

If you do not need further assistance, please accept the answer so that I can close it out.

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