Leave of Absence

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a  leave of absence by psychologist:

Can a psychologist allow a patient time off/ leave of absence?

Signed, Wondering

Dear Wondering:

If you are asking if a psychologist can require an employer to give time off to a patient of his or hers, the answer will depend upon the situation. If the psychologist works for the employer and has been asked to examine the employee and make a recommendation, the psychologist might recommend time off.There are also times when Workmen’s Compensation might be involved in the situation, and a doctor or psychologist might say that time off was needed. But, if the patient is going on her own, an employer isn’t obligated to give time off just because a psychologist says it is needed.

On the other hand, if it appears the patient could do harm to himself or herself or others, there is a liability concern if time off isn’t given. So, there is no quick answer to your question. But, if you consider the specific situation you’re thinking about, you can probably use these thoughts to determine what applies. I would suggest you talk to your HR section or an attorney if you have any questions about it, since this is a delicate situation in most cases. Best wishes Best wishes!

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.