Employees, Medical Certificates and the Accommodation Process
If you have a disability, you may need an accommodation (something different than the other employees) to assist with your participation in the workplace.
If an accommodation is needed, you must work with your employer to plan an accommodation which allows you to work to the best of your ability and your employer to have their needs met.
In some cases, your employer may need medical information to determine what limitations you have and what needs have to be accommodated. Each case is unique.
Best practices suggest your employer should be prepared to pay the costs of medical reports required.
The following information should assist your employer to know what medical information it is appropriate to ask for.
Employers are entitled to the medical information that is “reasonably necessary”.
Determining what is “reasonably necessary” involves balancing an employer’s right to information with an employee’s right to privacy. When an employer asks an employee to provide medical information, it should consider the following:
Do you need the requested information to determine the employee's job capacities and responsibilities?
Do you need the information to accommodate the employee?
How will you protect the employee's privacy?
Does the information need to be shared with other people, who and why?
Available Medical Information
Generally speaking, employers are entitled to the following:
Nature of the illness
Whether the illness or condition is permanent or temporary
If temporary, the estimated time frame for improvement to occur
Restrictions and limitations, and how long these might be impacting the employee
Any treatment or medication that might impact the accommodation or the employee’s ability to perform their job
A clear and unequivocal opinion as to the employee’s fitness to return to work
Dr’s opinion as to fitness to perform specific components of the employee’s job
The duration of any limitations or restrictions following the employee’s return to work
Prohibited Medical Information
Generally speaking, employers are not entitled to the following information and an employee has the right to refuse to provide it unless, based on the specific facts, disclosure impacts the accommodation process or the employee’s ability to perform his job: