It’s tough enough dealing with employees who submit shady doctor notes to avoid masks or getting a COVID-19 vaccination. (I find that letterhead printed on a Saltine is a dead-bang giveaway.) But, what happens to the doctors that write these opt-out letters?
The other day, I read this article in the Tallahassee Democrat — easy folks, it’s just the name of the newspaper; we’re nonpartisan here — about an ER doc who allegedly charged $50 for opt-out letters to local parents who didn’t want their children to wear masks in a school that had mandated face masks.
Social media FTW.
According to the article, a doctor “posted a notice on a statewide anti-mask site inviting Leon County parents to contact him if they need a medical exemption letter. In another post, [the doctor] said he’d provide a medical opt-out letter on signed stationery for $50. Screenshots of the posts ricocheted around social media.”
Unfortunately, the Tallahassee Democrat doesn’t have pics of the screenshots. But, you know who does? My tried and true. Daily Mail, I love you!
In one of the posts, the doctor ensured interested parents that he was “a real doctor.” According to this article, public records show that he had created a new limited liability company in July.
Except, things didn’t quite work out as planned.
Supposedly, his employer, a large hospital, became inundated with demands to fire him and report him to the Florida Board of Medicine.
The employer acts accordingly.
The FB posts and new LLC sound suspicious. But, to be fair to the doctor, many of the articles that I’ve read merely implied that he was providing these opt-out letters without examining the children for actual health issues that wearing a mask may exacerbate.
But, the optics stunk. And it sounds like a conflict of interest, at the very least.
What we do know is that the hospital that employed the doctor removed him from providing services to its patients:
“We act with absolute integrity in all that we do, and it is our expectation that providers behave in a way that is consistent with those values. Immediately upon learning of this physician’s actions, we began the process of removing him from providing services to our hospital patients,” said a spokesperson.
But, what should employers do when an employee turns in a shady medical exemption?
I’ll pose that question to my partners, Amy Epstein Gluck, David Renner, and Sid Steinberg, tomorrow, Wednesday, September 1, 2021, at Noon EDT on Zoom, where we’ll teach you “Everything HR Ever Wanted to Know about Mandating COVID-19 Vaccinations in the Workplace.” We’ll also explore other thorny mandatory vaccine issues such as religious accommodations, booster shots, getting proof of vaccination, and privacy rights. And I promise that we’ll save time for some Q&A time too.
The one-hour session is completely free. Just don’t expect to receive any legal advice; we get paid for that.
Time is running out to sign up. But, for now, you and all of your friends can register here.