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Are there any legal restrictions on obtaining information about an employee’s medical status?
By Peter Israel
|Canadian Employment Law Today

Are there any legal restrictions on obtaining information about an employee’s medical status?

Question:

One of our employees was absent for an extended period of time because of injuries to his back and shoulder. These injuries prevented the employee from performing his duties on the assembly line.

Until very recently, the employee was receiving insurance benefits. One week after the employee’s insurance benefits were cut off, he produced a doctor’s certificate stating he was fit to return to his regular work without any restrictions. I am suspicious of my employee and I would like to request some more information about his medical status. Are there any legal restrictions on obtaining information about an employee’s medical status? What types of medical information can I obtain about my employee? How can I obtain consent from my employee to release this medical information and what are my options for action if my employee refuses to provide me with consent?