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February 11, 2010
Dealing with Doctors in Connection with a PTO Program

In a 2010 BLR webinar, “Solving PTO Problems: How to Reduce Unscheduled Absences Without Alienating Employees or Violating the Law,” attorney Catherine Moreton Gray advised employers on what to keep in mind when dealing with doctors in connection with a paid time off program.

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  • Make sure policies alert employees to what is required and when.
  • Understand what is involved with a PTO bank that includes sick time, versus a traditional sick time policy.
  • If a doctor’s note does not include sufficient information (for example, “Susie will be out for the whole week”), push back and seek additional information, especially if Family and Medical Leave may be appropriate.
  • Understand what is permitted under the Americans with Disabilities Act and FMLA, and then work within those parameters.

Catherine Moreton Gray is an associate attorney in the Labor and Employment section of Robinson & Cole LLP in Hartford, Conn. She has more than 20 years of experience in human resources and employment law. Contact her at

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