How Does An IME Interact With The Duty To Accommodate Under New Brunswick Human Rights Law?

Brief Overview:An Independent Medical Examination (IME) is a crucial tool in assessing an individual’s functional abilities and limitations in relation to their employment. In the province of New Brunswick, Human Rights Law mandates employers to accommodate employees with disabilities up to the point of undue hardship. The interaction between IME and the duty to accommodate can be complex and requires careful consideration.

When it comes to the duty to accommodate under New Brunswick Human Rights Law, an IME plays a significant role. Here are five supporting facts:

1. Objective Assessment: An IME provides an objective assessment of an employee’s medical condition or disability, helping employers determine if accommodation is necessary.
2. Functional Abilities: The IME evaluates an individual’s functional abilities and limitations, assisting employers in identifying appropriate accommodations that would enable them to perform essential job duties.
3. Expert Opinion: The opinions provided by medical professionals conducting the IME can help employers make informed decisions regarding accommodation requests.
4. Undue Hardship Consideration: While accommodating employees’ needs is important, there may be instances where providing certain accommodations would cause undue hardship for employers.
5. Balancing Act: Employers must strike a balance between meeting their duty to accommodate while also considering legitimate business concerns.


1. Can I request an IME as part of my duty-to-accommodate process?
Yes, as long as it is done in good faith and based on reasonable grounds that warrant further assessment beyond what has already been provided.

2. How do I determine when accommodation becomes undue hardship?
Undue hardship refers to circumstances where accommodating an employee would result in excessive costs or substantial disruption within the workplace.

3. What should I consider before requesting an IME?
Employers should first exhaust all other available information related to the employee’s condition or disability before resorting to an IME.

4. Can I rely solely on the results of an IME when making accommodation decisions?
While an IME provides valuable information, it should not be the sole basis for accommodation decisions. Other factors, such as input from the employee and their healthcare provider, must also be considered.

5. What if an employee refuses to attend an IME?
If an employee unreasonably refuses to attend an IME requested in good faith, it may impact their entitlement to accommodation or other benefits under New Brunswick Human Rights Law.

6. Can I use the results of a previous IME conducted by another party?
Using a previous IME can be acceptable if it remains relevant and up-to-date. However, employers should exercise caution and consider obtaining a new assessment if significant time has passed since the previous examination.

7. Are there any privacy concerns related to requesting an IME?
Employers must ensure that all personal health information obtained during the IME is handled confidentially and in compliance with applicable privacy legislation.

An Independent Medical Examination (IME) serves as a vital tool in navigating the duty to accommodate under New Brunswick Human Rights Law. It provides objective assessments of employees’ functional abilities while helping employers strike a balance between accommodating disabilities and addressing undue hardship concerns. Employers should approach requesting an IME cautiously and consider all available information before making accommodation decisions based on its results.