What Are The Legal Obligations Of Quebec Employers Regarding Employee Medical Examinations?

Quick Overview:
In Quebec, employers have certain legal obligations when it comes to employee medical examinations. These obligations are outlined in the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and other relevant legislation. It is important for employers to understand these obligations to ensure compliance and avoid potential legal issues.


1. Prohibition of discriminatory practices: Employers in Quebec are prohibited from engaging in any form of discrimination based on a person’s disability or perceived disability. This includes conducting medical examinations that may be seen as discriminatory or invasive.

2. Reasonable accommodation: Employers have an obligation to make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities, including providing necessary support or modifications to enable them to perform their job duties effectively. Medical examinations may only be conducted if they are directly related to determining the need for accommodation.

3. Privacy protection: Employee privacy is protected by law in Quebec, including their personal health information. Employers must obtain informed consent before conducting any medical examination and ensure that the information obtained is kept confidential.

4. Independent assessments: If an employer requires a medical examination for legitimate reasons such as assessing an employee’s fitness for work or determining eligibility for benefits, it should be done by an independent healthcare professional who has no conflict of interest.

5. Documentation and record-keeping: Employers should keep records related to any medical examinations conducted, including the purpose of the examination, consent forms signed by employees, and any findings or recommendations made by healthcare professionals.


1. Can employers require all new hires to undergo a pre-employment medical examination?
No, pre-employment medical exams can only be required if they are directly related to determining whether an individual can perform essential job functions with reasonable accommodation.

2. What happens if an employee refuses a requested medical examination?
If there is no legitimate reason justifying the request or if it violates human rights laws, employees have the right to refuse without facing negative consequences from their employer.

3. Can employers request ongoing medical examinations for employees with disabilities?
Ongoing medical examinations may be requested if there is a legitimate need to assess the employee’s ability to perform essential job functions or determine eligibility for benefits. However, they should be conducted in a manner that respects privacy and dignity.

4. Are employers allowed to access an employee’s medical records without their consent?
No, employers cannot access an employee’s medical records without their informed consent. Employees have the right to control who has access to their personal health information.

5. What can employers do if they suspect an employee is falsely claiming a disability?
Employers should approach such situations carefully and seek legal advice if necessary. They may request additional documentation or assessments from independent healthcare professionals but must ensure they do not violate any human rights laws.

6. Can employers use the results of a medical examination as grounds for termination?
Termination based solely on the results of a medical examination can be considered discriminatory unless it directly relates to an individual’s inability, even with reasonable accommodation, to perform essential job functions.

7. How long should employers keep records related to employee medical examinations?
Employers should retain these records for as long as required by applicable legislation or until they are no longer relevant, ensuring compliance with privacy laws and regulations.

Quebec employers have legal obligations when it comes to conducting employee medical examinations. These include avoiding discrimination, providing reasonable accommodations, protecting privacy rights, using independent assessors when needed, and maintaining proper documentation. It is crucial for employers to understand these obligations and comply with them in order to avoid potential legal issues.