Provided by:  Jennifer Kirschenbaum, Esq.

June 15, 2023

Hi Jen,

Can I demand proof from an employee they are sick?  Is there a law on this in NY? 

Thank you in advance. 
Dr. R

Happy to have a broader conversation offline on any employee's questionable conduct, or how to build a proper file to document for termination. To address the above, yes, NY does have laws around asking for proof of an employee being sick, and the rules are specific.  You cannot demand proof for a day here or there, or less than 3 consecutive days. Statute below -  

"(a) An employer may not require medical or other verification in connection with sick leave that lasts less than three consecutive previously scheduled workdays or shifts.
(b) No employer shall require an employee to pay any costs or fees associated with obtaining medical or other verification of eligibility for use of sick leave.
(c) No employer shall require an employee to provide confidential information, including the nature of an illness, its prognosis, treatment, or other related information, nor shall any employer require any details or information regarding leave taken pursuant to Section 196-b(4)(a)(iii) of the Labor Law (otherwise known as safe leave). An employer may not require that the attestation explain the nature of the illness or details related to domestic violence, sexual offense, family offense, human trafficking, or stalking that necessitates the use of safe leave.
(d) Except where prohibited by law, an employer may request documentation from an employee confirming their eligibility to take sick leave under Section 196-b of the Labor Law where the employee uses leave for three or more consecutive and previously scheduled workdays or shifts. An employer cannot require an employee or the person providing documentation, including medical professionals, to disclose the reason for leave, except as required by law. Requests for documentation shall be limited to the following:
(1) An attestation from a licensed medical provider supporting the existence of a need for sick leave, the amount of leave needed, and a date that the employee may return to work, or
(2) An attestation from an employee of their eligibility to leave."

 N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 12 § 196-1.3,

Navigating today's employment laws is trying, to say the least.   Kieran, Richard and I (Jennifer) are available to answer any questions before you act against your interest with regards to any employee or patient.   Ask before acting.