Questioning the legitimacy of doctor’s notes

When suspicions arise over an employee's absence
By Stuart Rudner
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 10/21/2015

Question: If an employer is concerned an employee’s doctor is simply filling out notes to cover for absences even if the employee isn’t really sick, can the employer refuse to accept the note, even if it’s a legitimate doctor’s note?

Answer: Theoretically, an employer may refuse a medical note that does not provide sufficient detail concerning the reason for absence. Past cases have even held that an employee’s failure to comply with an employer’s reasonable direction to produce doctor’s notes justifying prolonged absences amounted to just cause for dismissal. This line of reasoning, however, comes with a few caveats.