A medical excuse note, or a doctor's note, usually contains the patient's name, the date and the request to excuse the patient from work or school due to illness or injury. The doctor's note usually contains the name of the doctor and the doctor's contact information, as well as the doctor's signature or the official stamp from the clinic.
There are certain rules regarding when an employer can ask for a doctor's note from an employee. The basic rule is that the employer should avoid putting himself in the role of the medical provider and should not request a diagnosis for simple requests of sick leave.
However, for long-term absences or Family Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, the employer can request additional information, such as the nature of the employee's disability and if the employee requires reasonable accommodation. In these instances, a request for the employee's diagnosis is legitimate. For a simple approval of sick leave, however, a standard medical excuse should be sufficient.
A common problem with companies that require medical excuses for absent employees is that oftentimes an employee stays home from work claiming illness and never goes to the doctor's office. As a result, there is an overabundance of fake doctor's excuses available for download on the Web.