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Consequences of a fake doctors note

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Fake Doctors Note

There surely have been times when we had some urgent business to take care of which we knew wouldn’t have been approved by the bosses or principals in normal circumstances. So of course using a forged note that perhaps said something like- ‘sick, please give the aforementioned leave of (specific number) of days’.  But using fake doctor’s notes to get out of cumbersome situations is actually an alarmingly common phenomenon nowadays. Most of these fake doctors note users are actually unaware of its consequences and the fact that there are serious risks and consequences for doing it. In fact, there are laws against such fake doctor notes. Here are the consequences of using forged notes:

For students:

If it is discovered that a student has engaged in such an illegal activity to get out of school, then he or she will be in a legally dire situation. But a student will have less risk to bear than any other person in any professional institution since the common maximum result will be detention, suspension or perhaps a call or letter to the Guardian in question. It could also be a combination of any of the three. While these consequences are for students until high school; college students will have a lot more to lose. They might get suspended, lose projects, teaching positions or even expelled from the college or university because of this. For lighter sentences, they might lose their hostel or in-university boarding facilities.

For employees:

In the case of employees, the consequences are much dire and there is a very real possibility that they might get fired from the job on the spot. But he/she can be let go with a fine or with a strict punishment as well as a warning. But the punishment imposed varies among organizations and their policies concerning it.

What are the legal consequences of carrying this out?

Forgery is classified as a Class C Felony which can lead to 3-10 years in jail in all the 50 states of the United States. Apart from the collateral consequences that the person in question will face, the school or institutions honor code will also come into question and play. Here’s what is done to secure convictions by attorneys:

  • Proving that the person deliberately crafted false or untrue writings or altered any existing material.
  • Then comes the part where the prosecutors will have to prove that the act fits the legally binding definition of forgery. To do this they will have to prove that the material used is false and has a legal significance which impacts others rights and obligations.
  • The third thing to prove is the intention to defraud because this is what separates the innocent from the guilty.

But what we need to understand is: Why do people opt for using forged doctor’s notes?

Many have speculated the reason for such widespread use of forgery and some believe that it is because of an HR policy which focuses on attendance. This policy is based on a point system regarding the total number of unexcused days that an employee can undertake. If a person takes more unexcused leaves than the stipulated maximum limit then the employee can lose their job. The apparent solution for people in these cases stands to be- fake doctor notes taken straight from the internet templates and shady sites.

How employers can check if the doctor’s note is forged?

Unless and until a boss has a sharp eye and is experienced in these matters, the notes do skip the first preliminary inspection which happens during the handing over of the note. But there are some tricks to prevent it:

  • Naïve or nervous employees do submit forged doctor notes, but they also put in incomplete information. A real doctor’s note will have the name of the doctor, the patient, the address of the patient, the date of consultancy, the diagnosis called by the doctor and the particular number of days the patient should be excused from work.
  • The notes also frequently contain excuses which seem flimsy or stand to be completely unbelievable. Employees can put in flu without considering the fact the company might have organized a flu vaccination drive a few days ago. Moreover, employees forget that someone who is returning to work after experiencing a bout of sickness will not look fully hale and hearty. A lot of lies are required to cover up one truth and most of the time it slips and shows.
  • Some employees also end up taking a lot of unexcused days off in a single month. In these cases or prolonged absences, if a doctor’s note is submitted then it should be checked out.
  • Sometimes people use the same excuses again and again, especially if it worked before and they got away with it. Getting away with it once does bolster their confidence and so they use the same reason repeatedly. In these types of cases, the HR should pay attention minutely.

What can employees do to prevent this epidemic?

Employers can:

  • Make suitable changes in their leave system so that people feel less stressed to attend work daily and so might not feel the need to take unnecessary holidays.
  • They should educate employees about the possible consequences of taking such steps through personal interactions or seminars instead of just promoting it out in the orientation booklet or putting it up on the notice board and then forgetting about it. Active participation is important for both the sides.
  • Apart from telling them the legal results of such steps, a point should be made to talk to the employees regarding the moral and ethical consequences of it.

Overall; before taking such a step, employees should ponder about the fact that they are essentially duping their employers and also setting a bad precedent for their juniors and kids. It will benefit them if they think whether facing a probable jail term or getting terminated from a job is really worth taking that one left.

 

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