Question: Would you be willing to comment on a situation regarding sick leave? Our CBA is silent on the issue of using sick leave extending beyond three consecutive days. The employer has not utilized this policy for any of our members, but recently stated they would if an employee called in one more day after she was off for three. I engaged in an email exchange with the HR director, citing cases from the LRIS website that the employer must show a business necessity and just having a policy does not suffice.
Answer: The key is whether the “verification” the City wants contains diagnostic information or is simply a confirmation by a doctor that the employee’s absence from work was due to an illness or injury. If it’s the former, then the ADA’s privacy provisions come into play and would require that the employer show that its reasons for needing the information were “job related and consistent with business necessity.” It’s unlikely the City could meet that test with a standard notification requirement for all employees taking a fixed amount of sick leave.
If it’s the latter situation – and no diagnostic information is required – then there would be no ADA implications to the City’s requirement.
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