Employers may want to think twice about demanding employees get a doctor to sign a sick note for them. One physician wasn't too amused by the request and thoroughly scolded one boss in a sick note that has since gone viral.
The note first appeared on a Reddit post by member eaglel66. The member explained that a friend's place of employment requires a sick note if you claim you are missing work due to illness. Additional reports say that the letter was written for an Alberta, Canada teen named Kirby Reding. When Reding told his doctor about his cold symptoms and that he was forced to get a medical professional to confirm his need to take a sick day, the doctor apparently gave the teen's boss more than he bargained for.
In the sick note, the unamused doctor praised his patient for staying home instead of "spreading [the cold] to his colleagues/customers." He also attacked the logic behind even requiring such a letter.
"You feel his time and mine should be wasted by making him sit in the walk in clinic for hours and me spending time writing a sick note that I could be spending on people who genuinely need my attention."
Since the note was posted on Reddit, it has reportedly been viewed nearly four million times! What's so amusing about this sick note? Perhaps the fact that the doctor raises an honest point: Isn't it a waste of time and money to send an employee to the doctor to prove he or she has a cold? He's also right to address time taken away from the sick and injured patients that truly need his care.
It's an important debate because it's common for certain businesses to require medical examination and the confirmation for employees who call in sick. Even worse, going through all of the trouble doesn't necessarily guarantee you'll be off the hook for missing time.
Legal blogger Donna Ballman, JD, said that laws which protect persons from losing their job due to illness only cover the more serious health concerns. Obviously, this doesn't include the common cold.
"The laws that protect you for illness only protect you if you have a serious medical condition or an illness relating to a disability. Doctor's note or no, if you live anywhere but Montana you're in an at-will state, meaning you can be fired for any reason or no reason at all. That includes being sick."
Hopefully, Canada's work policies are a bit better. Otherwise, an embarrassing sick note posted to the internet might see a certain Alberta teen lose his job.
Do you think the doctor was right to be angry, or are sick notes always a good precaution for an employer to take?
[Image Credit: eaglel66/Imgur]