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Returning from Disability leave? Employers don't need to know everything.

QUESTION:  I am trying to return to work from a disability leave. I gave the employer a gradual return to work program provided by my doctor. They are telling me that I have to go and see their own doctor so they can get their own report. The release the doctor sent me does not limit what the company doctor can tell the employer about my personal medical situation. Do I have to sign it?

ANSWER: No. The Ontario Human Rights Code has been interpreted to hold that except in the rarest of situations, the employer has no right to your diagnosis. They have a right to know whether or not you are medically fit to return to work any prediction as to when you might return and any accommodations required. The fact that the employer is paying this doctor directly does not change that law. Simply write on the form they are asking you to sign that your release is limited to your fitness to return to work, prognosis for return and any  accommodation required. When you meet with the company doctor make sure she acknowledges what you put on the release.
 
Ed Canning
Ed Canning
P: 905.572.5809
ecanning@rossmcbride.com