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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 98541
Experience:  Lawyer
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I am having issues at work and need to know my legal rights. I broke my tow (not at work)

Customer Question

I am having issues at work and need to know my legal rights. I broke my tow (not at work) and my specialist wrote a note saying I was off work for 6-8 weeks. Work then requested I fill out their physician assessment forms and when I told them I didn't have another appointment with my specialist for a month they told me to go to my GP to have him fill it out (even though he wasn't the treating physician). I had him fill out the forms but did not fill in the section to give them consent to my medical info and to speak with my doctor. Their in-house doctor did not agree with my physicians (x2) recommendations and they called to have me put on modified duties (which was against my doctors recommendations). They also asked me to fill out a consent form and send it back in for them to have access to my medical info and doctors. I had a second specialist apt and he recommended back to work with reduced hours and duties. They want to speak with my specialist as they don't agree again with him.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.
Are you in a union?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, and I work for an airline.
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.
So what do they want you to do and what does your doctor say?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I asked them what their doctor is recommending and they have not replied to that. I haven't gone back to my specialist because it is not just as easy as picking up the phone to talk to him. I was going to wait until they answered my question about what their doctor thinks and then get in touch with my specialist. Can their doctor even override what a specialist says? Work keeps saying that they need to talk to their people relations before they can get back to me because I have not given consent for their doctor to have a doctor to doctor phone call. Is all this necessary. Do I not have a legal right to not allow that consent?
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.
You don't have to consent but they don't have to give you what you are asking if you cannot prove you need it.The law is that the employer has to provide you with reasonable accommodations so long as there is clear evidence you need this and so long as these accommodations do not cause the employer to undergo undue hardship. If you can prove they can make the accommodations and they do not then it is a case of discrimination and you can file a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This brings me back to the fact that this is not a work place injury. Do they have the right to know what is wrong and make their own decisions on what treatment/accommodations they feel are warranted - in this case questioning my specialist? They make accommodations all the time for employees with the same type of restrictions as I have (reduced hours and no lifting) so I know that they can make the accommodations. It seems like the only way to get back to work is to give them consent at my medical info and to talk to my doctor (which I am not ok with). Is there a way that I can ask them to give me the recommendations of WestJet's doctor and I personally give it to my specialist and he can reply to that? They are just not a very forthcoming company with respect to letting me know when and what is being discussed with my doctors, this is why I revoked consent with the last mod duties I had with them. I feel like I'm in a stronghold with no options but to disregard my specialists recommendations and do what work says.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How is it that my specialists recommendations are not the "proof" that it is required.
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.
They don't have a right to know the details. They have the right to know you that if you are back at work you are not a danger to yourself or others and they have a right to know what exactly you can and cannot do. That is all they have to know. They certainly cannot decide about treatment. Your specialist recommendations are enough proof in most cases.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So what recourse do I have for them not taking what my specialist has written down on their assessment form and accommodating me with work? Can they just stall until I am back to work full time while I sit at home able to work mod duties but not making any money because they won't accommodate me? Is this something worth hiring a lawyer for to present them with a form stating that they are to return me to work based on my specialists recommendations? At what point does this become harassment? (Pressuring me to give consent for them to talk to my doctors or they will not accommodate me with work) Is my job protected through something like this?
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.
It is worth hiring a lawyer to send them a letter explaining the law about discrimination and their obligations. You can contact the Law Society and use their Lawyer Referral Service. You will be given the name of a lawyer and can consult with the lawyer and the first half hour will be free.The number is:1-***-***-**** or***-***-**** in Calgary

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