Returning To Work

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about absence due to illness:

The other day my boss noticed I might have pink eye so to protect others he asked me to go home early. I said OK. Then, 2 days later upon returning I was told I could not return without a doctor’s note saying I was OK. I understand this is common with workers comp claims but what about just general illness like colds etc.?

Signed, Wondering

Dear Wondering:

Requirements for a doctor’s approval to return to work varies between jobs, because of the type of work being done. In your case, the requirement for a doctor’s approval is related to the contagious nature of Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis). We are not a medical site and cannot give medical advice. But, it is not difficult to research and find out that the viral type of Conjunctivitis is highly contagious.

In fact, the old-time view was that even looking at someone with Pink Eye could give you the same ailment! In many workplaces a doctor’s approval is required before return to work after influenza, strep infection, hepatitis, or similar conditions, which employees may spread to countless others, if they aren’t completely recovered. So, getting a doctor’s approval for return, is not necessarily related to worker’s compensation claims. It may be required for any illness that has the potential to create problems for those the worker might contact upon return. Or, can be required as a way to ensure that a worker was, in fact, ill and treated for it when sick time was taken.Best wishes for a quick recovery!

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.