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Male doctor wearing a mask and stethescope looking down.
Male doctor wearing a mask and stethescope looking down.

Can we require an employee to go to a health care professional of our choice (rather than the employee's) for documentation purposes?

TLDR; Yes, if there is insufficient documentation. In this case, the employer would be required to pay for the employee’s visit.

Team Disclo
April 22, 2022

Per the ADA, an employer can require their employee to go to a health professional of the company’s choice if the individual provides insufficient information from their medical professional. If the employee provides insufficient documentation in response to the company’s initial request, the company must explain why the documentation is not sufficient. The employer then must allow the employee to provide missing information in a “timely manner”. 

What is “insufficient documentation”? This is when the documentation does not (1) specify the existence of an ADA disability and (2) explain the need for reasonable accommodation.

If the employer decides to require a specific health professional, the request must be “job-related and consistent with business necessity”. (EEOC) This means that the exam must stick to the original purpose only, by determining the nature of the disability and the functional limitations. The employer must also pay all costs associated with the visit(s).

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