Eleven-Day Delay Too Long For Doctor’s Slip

The contract between Local 48 of the International Association of Fire Fighters and the City of Cincinnati, Ohio allows the employer to demand a doctor’s slip to verify the use of sick leave. When the City refused to accept a firefighter’s doctor’s slip, Local 48 appealed the decision to arbitration.

An arbitrator found that the City acted within its rights. In particular, the Arbitrator was concerned by the fact that the doctor’s slip was completed 11 days after the employee was absent from work: “The issue in this case is the sufficiency of the medical explanation. An 11-day lapse in time between the office visit and the illness in consideration certainly tests the reliability of the ‘verification.’ While the note purports to be a release-to-work memorandum, it fails to verify illness of the firefighter on the dates in question.”

City of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Fire Fighters Union IAFF, Local 48, LAIG 6257 (Johnson, 2007).

This article appears in the November 2007 issue