Get a doctor's excuse from the physician when you visit him, recommends Alison Doyle for About.com. Doctor's notes should be legitimate and can include doctor recommendations about the duration of an employee's absence and any provisions needed for when she returns to work.
A doctor's note does not need to explain any diagnosis made, according to Doyle. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, such notes afford workers a measure of protection if a business uses an absence to bypass employees for promotions or decides to fire them. For lengthy illnesses and absences, employers may supply a special form for a doctor to fill out, or the doctor can document the employee's needs in an official letter to the employer.
Although the Internet has fake doctor's notes, letterheads and scams, turning in a doctor's note that is not genuine is risky and could cost a person her job, cautions Doyle. Employees can also explain about a doctor visit without an actual note from the doctor. A sample of such an employee letter shows the date of the visit and the employer's name and address at the top. The body of the letter explains the employee had to miss work on a certain date because of a doctor's visit and indicates willingness to follow up with proof or documentation as needed.