Job Stress and Getting Back to Work

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Job Stress and Getting Back to Work

Case Summary

In case study number two a legal battle between an employee in a supervisory position and his employer, IGA, is described. Donald Knolls, the employee in question, suffered from a period of work stress and was granted disability leave from his employer, IGA, because the employer’s general physician diagnosed him with depression. Over an eight-month period Donald’s personal psychologist, an expert in the area of depression decided that it was appropriate for him to return to work. When Donald went back to see the employers physician to get cleared for work the doctor informed him that it was not a good idea for him to return to a supervisory role. The doctor recommended that he be demoted on a six-month trial basis in order to see how he handled the stress in a non-supervisory position. He deemed that the stress level would be the same and it would be too much for the man to handle at that time.
In this case, IGA held that it had the right to rely on the opinion of a fair and impartial physician and that policy within the company states, “with disability leave, appropriate medical documentation may be required”. Donald’s defense stated that he should be allowed back to work because he had been cured of his illness and that the opinion of an expert in the disorder he suffered from deemed him to be ready to go back to the position that he left.
1. When conflicting medical opinions are presented, should the advice of a medical expert count more heavily than the opinion of a general physician? Explain.

When conflicting medical opinions are presented, the advice of a medical expert should absolutely supersede the opinion of a general physician because the expert has the authority to diagnose the disorder and has the ability to recognize when it has been medically managed. A general physician is not likely to have great experience with mental disorders such as depression. Their job is to treat basic diseases,



References: Bohlander, G. & Snell, S. (2010). Managing human resources. Mason, OH: South-Western, Cengage Learning. Cartwright, S., & Cooper, C.L. (1997). Managing workplace stress. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. Belfort, S.F. (2002). The most difficult ADA reasonable accommodation rules: reassignment and leave of absence. Retrieved from http://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?collection=journals&handle=hein.journals/wflr37&div=16&id=&page=

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