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Using Independent Medical Exams for Employees

Federal courts offer guidance on conducting reviews

Connecticut Law Tribune

July 27, 2015

Authors: Peter J. Murphy

When an employee advises an employer about physical or mental health issues, the employer must carefully respond and be aware of the employee's rights and the risks associated with asking the wrong question or taking the wrong action. Employees generally control the initial flow of information to the employer by, for example, providing return-to-work notes requesting accommodations in the workplace, or providing medical records and reports from possible expert witnesses in litigation.

Employers have the means for assessing this information and responding accordingly. Employers do not need to accept this information at face value, however, as they also have significant rights to independent reviews of an employee's medical condition both during employment and during litigation. Recent cases from the federal courts provide guidance as to how and when to conduct such an independent medical review.

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