Doctor's note for all sick calls? Here are 5 reasons I wouldn't.


One common employer practice that I have never liked is requiring employees who call in sick to bring in a doctor's note. I'm not talking about extended or recurring absences that would be covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act, or time off that would be covered under a short-term or long-term disability policy, or requests for reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

I'm talking about garden-variety, short-term absences for things like colds, sore throats, tummy bugs, or the flu.

And I am feeling so validated right now because I see that Cynical Girl and most of her commenters (presumably Human Resources people) agree with me.

Here are five reasons why I think it's not a good idea:

1-It screams to the employee "I don't trust you." Sure, there are some employees you don't trust, but why treat them all like abusers? Even employees who use a lot of sick time or paid time off may have legitimate reasons -- they may have genuine chronic health problems, or they may have young kids who get sick (my sons are grown now, but I certainly remember the days when our family was a veritable tag team of illness), or they may have been incredibly unlucky, or they may be expectant mothers with morning sickness.

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