We often get asked in HR, what are my rights to information on an employee's disability?
Well the answer is a complicated one that needs to be carefully considered. Usually the answer is - "it depends". Below, I will take you through several different commonly asked questions.
What is a disability?
The Alberta Human Rights Act defines mental and physical disability as:
Mental disability means any mental disorder, developmental disorder or learning disorder, regardless of the cause or duration of the disorder.
Physical disability means any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes epilepsy, paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, and physical reliance on a guide dog, wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device.
Note that the flu and colds are not considered a disability and therefore your accommodation requirements are much lower.
When can I request information from an employee?
When requesting medical information, you should consider:
What information can I request?
For the most part, an employer is not entitled to the diagnosis but can ask about:
When can I ask for more medical information?
You must first determine whether or not you have the information you need in the medical information supplied. If you are missing information needed to accommodate an employee safely, you may request additional information. If more medical information is needed, you should:
You are not entitled to:
Contact us today to find out more about implementing a strong disability management program into your Human Resources practices or to review a current disability claim.