return to work documentation

We currently have an employee who is approved for intermittent FML. This employee is now in the hospital and I have received written notification from his doctor that the employee will be out of work until 7/26/04.

When I spoke to the employee I asked him to please bring with him when he returns to work a release from the doctor stating that he is fit to return to work on 7/26. The employee didn't understand why I wanted this because he felt the doctor had already provided that in his earlier documentation. I told the employee that things might change and there may be some restrictions so I wanted a current release from the doctor when the employee returns. Our policy states that a doctor's certification stating that you are fit for duty and able to resume work must be presented before you will be allowed to return to work.

Was I OK in asking for another doctor's release or should I just accept the original and let it go at that?


  • 4 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • You are absolutely right in your decision to require a fitness for duty, return to work statement. The FMLA paperwork completed by the doctor has no relationship to the fitness for duty statement that you need when he is trying to come back to work. Don't let the employee return without a statement that is satisfactory to you.
  • Yes you were ok in asking. The original doctor's statement can only be an "estimation" of the term of absence, etc. A fitness for duty statement is appropriate, legal and recommended.

  • The above posters are correct. We have a situation where an EE has received the usual doctors note regarding estimated length of absence. The EE has been unable to meet the estimated return date and the doctor has given a new estimated return date three times because the EE was not fit for duty. She finally made the date shown on the last note and brought in the fit for duty note from the doctor.

    Stick to your guns and require the document.
  • We also require a fitness for duty statement before returning to work. If employees show up without it, they are sent home.

Sign In or Register to comment.