What Legal Obligations Do New Brunswick Employers Have Concerning Employee Medical Examinations?

Quick Overview:In New Brunswick, employers have certain legal obligations concerning employee medical examinations. These obligations are in place to protect the rights and privacy of employees while ensuring a safe and productive work environment. Here are five key facts about these obligations:

1. Duty to accommodate: Employers in New Brunswick have a duty to accommodate employees with disabilities up to the point of undue hardship. This includes providing reasonable accommodations for medical conditions or disabilities that may affect an employee’s ability to perform their job.

2. Medical information disclosure: Employers must obtain written consent from employees before requesting any medical information or conducting medical examinations. The information collected should be limited to what is necessary for assessing accommodation needs or determining fitness for work.

3. Confidentiality: Any medical information obtained by employers must be kept confidential and stored securely, separate from an employee’s personnel file. Only individuals directly involved in the accommodation process should have access to this sensitive information.

4. Prohibited discrimination: It is illegal for employers in New Brunswick to discriminate against employees based on their disability status or perceived disability when it comes to hiring, promotion, termination, or any other employment-related decisions.

5. Human Rights Act compliance: Employers must ensure that their actions regarding employee medical examinations align with the provisions outlined in the New Brunswick Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on disability.


1. Can an employer require a pre-employment medical examination?
Yes, but only if it can be shown that such an examination is necessary for determining whether an individual can perform essential duties of the job and does not violate human rights legislation.

2. What happens if an employee refuses a requested medical examination?
If there are legitimate reasons behind refusing a requested examination related to privacy concerns or religious beliefs, employers should consider alternative means of obtaining necessary information without infringing upon those rights.

3.Can employers request ongoing periodic medical exams?
Employers can request ongoing periodic exams under specific circumstances where there is a reasonable concern about an employee’s ability to perform essential job functions or when required by law (e.g., for certain safety-sensitive positions).

4. Can employers share medical information with other employees?
No, employers must not disclose an employee’s medical information to other employees unless there is a legitimate need-to-know basis related to accommodation or workplace safety.

5. Are there any exceptions to the duty to accommodate?
Yes, if accommodating an employee would cause undue hardship on the employer, such as significant financial costs or health and safety risks that cannot be reasonably mitigated.

6. Can employers terminate an employee based on their medical examination results?
Termination based solely on the results of a medical examination may be considered discriminatory unless it can be demonstrated that the individual is unable to perform essential duties even with accommodations.

7. What should employers do if they suspect an employee has a disability but hasn’t disclosed it?
Employers should approach this situation cautiously and only request relevant medical information if there are objective reasons for believing that a disability exists and accommodation may be necessary.

New Brunswick employers have legal obligations concerning employee medical examinations, including the duty to accommodate disabilities up to undue hardship, obtaining written consent for collecting medical information, maintaining confidentiality, avoiding discrimination based on disabilities, and complying with human rights legislation. It is crucial for employers to understand these obligations and ensure compliance in order to promote inclusivity and fairness in the workplace while safeguarding both employer and employee interests.