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UW may not require doctors' notes for absenses due to flu

The potential swine flu outbreak has the University of Wisconsin System thinking about suspending a rule that makes employees get doctors' notes when they take sick leave.

The Board of Regents will be asked on Friday to suspend the requirement for at least the current school year.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has urged universities not to require doctors' notes for sick students and employees.

That's because doctors might get too busy to write them in a timely manner if the number of H1N1 flu cases explodes in the coming months.

The UW decided in 2005 to require doctors' notes for employees who take over five days of sick leave.

That was after a former administrator at the Madison campus took seven months of sick leave while in the process of being demoted.

He was paid his annual salary of almost $200,000 during his entire leave, including the time he spent looking for another job.