“One-size-fits-all” form violates privacy rights

Despite the clause in the collective agreement that entitled the employer to medical information it needed to assess disability and return-to-work claims, it went too far. The information it demanded, the arbitrator found, involved treatment and diagnosis and was not required at the point in the grievor’s claim that it was requested.
By Mark Rogers
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 09/21/2011

Disciplined for her refusal to submit detailed medical information to a third party in support of her claim for short-term disability, a worker grieved. The union said the employer was infringing on the worker’s right to privacy.

Employed since 1999 as a security guard at a casino, T.B. was one of four workers to file a grievance concerning the employer’s insistence that the workers provide confidential medical information to a contracted, third-party health insurance administrator.

Early in 2009, T.B. developed a medical condition that prevented her from working nights. She sought an accommodation to allow her to work days. The employer agreed to the accommodation and, in accord with its disability management policy, the employer forwarded a two-part medical form to T.B. for her to complete.