ADA? 1 1/2 weeks

I am struggling a bit with this situation ... EE cut hand at home. Off work for 1 1/2 weeks and wanted to return to work. We require a release for return to work so we know if there are restrictions. Apparently now the ER doctor told EE they will not provide a return to work note or restriction info and EE is to see a specialist . Since what initially seemed to be a fairly routine non-ADA issue, due to no mention of additional issues resulting from the cut, has now turned into a situation where EE is referred to a specialist ... do we assume for now this maybe an ADA qualifying situation (even though only involving 1 1/2 weeks off thus far) and provide additional limited time off if not an undue hardship? I ask because EE has no vacation time to use, is not eligible for FMLA and is running afoul our regular attendance policy.

Any input would be appreciated.


  • 4 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Stupid question perhaps. . ER Dr. Emergency Room or Employer?
  • I would never "assume" that a condition/injury is ADA. I just recognize the possibility. I think you require medical documentation, see what the prognosis is and then make decisions. It is possible that what was a simple cut, developed complications (e.g., an infection developed; doctor discovered cut actually went through a ligament, etc.).
  • I wouldn't automatically assume that this kind of injury would be ADA-qualifying (even with some of the broadened definitions that have come about with the ADAAA). I agree with David, that you need some sort of medical documentation to understand if there were some sort of complications that arose and what the prognosis is.

    It isn't unheard of for emergency room doctors to send a patient to another doctor (could be their own doctor or a specialist) to obtain a return to work notice. As the treating physician, they can write the original note stating the patient can't work for a certain period of time, but they won't do the follow-up visit (or visits) that might be necessary to ascertain whether or not the injury has healed properly or if there are any complications that might prevent the patient from going back to work or cause there to be restrictions on what they can do. It doesn't automatically mean that the injury is truly a disabling injury that would be covered under the ADA.
  • Thank you for the input. I see your points.
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