OK to let employee ignore doc’s note and return to work?

Q. An employee has a note from her doctor releasing her back to work in a week. However, the employee says she feels fine and would like to return to work sooner. Should we allow her to ignore her doctor’s note? — G.G., Maryland

A. No. Return-to-work certification protects both the employer and the employee. The only way the employee should be allowed to return to work sooner is if her doctor agrees to release her return earlier. She should contact her doctor to amend the date and send a new note. Otherwise stick to the original return date.