When employees need to take sick leave due to illness, they may need to provide their employer with a doctor’s note in California. Your medical details are protected by FMLA and HIPAA laws, and employers cannot request information about their medical conditions or obtain copies of their medical records. However, they can ask for certifications of a condition and call the doctor to confirm specific information on the doctor’s note.

HIPAA limits what your healthcare provider can disclose to your employer without your consent. Verifying basic information on a doctor’s note may be the only details shared with your employer. However, there are exceptions, such as workers’ compensation, where sharing your medical information may be warranted. If your employer requested medical data from your doctor without your consent, speak with the leading employment lawyers at Blackstone Law. 

What Information Can Employers Verify on Your Doctor’s Note in California? 

If your employer wants to verify a doctor’s note that you provided, they are able to call your doctor to verify the note without your knowledge. However, medical providers should not give any details regarding your medical condition or disclose your medical data without your consent. 

The following information may be shared with your employer without your knowledge or consent: 

  • The time and date of the examination.
  • The doctor’s name.
  • Your doctor’s recommendation whether you should take time off and for how long. 
  • Your doctor’s diagnosis. 
  • Whether your condition is contagious.

As an employee, it is important that you understand your legal rights regarding sick leave and medical privacy. For guidance on how to navigate this area of law, speak with an experienced employment lawyer. 

Do You Have Job Protection With a Doctor’s Note in California? 

Since California is an at-will employment state, your employer may terminate your employment for any reason, as long as the reason is legal. It is illegal for your employer to terminate your employment based upon your medical condition, need for reasonable accommodations, or your need for medical leave. If your employer does so, they must prove that the excessive absences impacted business operations and caused an undue hardship. 

Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), an employer must preserve your job, or a similar job, for up to 12 weeks if you need to take leave for a serious health condition or to take care of a sick family member. If you have worked at your company for one year prior to needing leave, your employer cannot refuse to accept your doctor’s note or terminate your employment for being absent during these 12 weeks. 

Speak With the Leading Employment Law Lawyers at Blackstone Law 

If your employer requested medical information without your consent or wrongfully terminated you in violation of paid sick leave laws, speak with the award-winning employment lawyers at Blackstone Law for an assessment of your case. We provide trusted representation throughout the legal process so you may hold your employer accountable for violating your legal rights. 

Request a free consultation from one of our skilled employment law lawyers by calling (310) 956-4054 or filling out our contact form.