How Do IMEs Impact Employee Privacy Rights In Nova Scotia?

Brief Overview:IMEs (Independent Medical Examinations) can impact employee privacy rights in Nova Scotia. These examinations are often requested by employers, insurance companies, and the legal community to assess an individual’s medical condition and determine their eligibility for disability benefits or workplace accommodations.

Answer: IMEs can impact employee privacy rights in Nova Scotia through the following five ways:

1. Collection of personal information: During an IME, a healthcare professional collects personal information about an employee’s medical history, symptoms, and treatment. This collection may go beyond what is necessary for the purpose of the examination, potentially infringing on privacy rights.

2. Disclosure to third parties: The findings of an IME report are typically shared with employers, insurance companies, or lawyers involved in a case. This disclosure may involve sharing sensitive health information that employees would prefer to keep private.

3. Limited control over who conducts the examination: Employees generally have little say in choosing the healthcare professional who will perform the IME. This lack of control raises concerns about potential biases or breaches of confidentiality by examiners.

4. Access to previous records: Assessors conducting IMEs often review an employee’s medical records and documentation related to their claim or employment history. While relevant documents may be required for assessment purposes, there is a risk that irrelevant personal details could be accessed without proper consent.

5.Impact on future employability: The results and recommendations from an IME can influence an individual’s ability to secure future employment opportunities if they pertain to long-term conditions or disabilities that need accommodation arrangements.


1. Can an employee refuse to undergo an IME?

Employees generally cannot refuse reasonable requests for independent medical examinations if it relates directly to their claim or contractual obligations under disability plans.

2.Do employees have any input into selecting the examiner?

In most cases involving employer-requested exams paid by insurers; selection criteria such as expertise govern whom among approved lists performs workers’ medical assessment

3. Can employees bring someone to the IME appointment?

In general, employees are not entitled to have a third party present during an IME unless there is a specific need for support due to their disability.

4. Are employers required to keep IME reports confidential?

Employers and other parties involved in the process should handle IME reports with care and follow privacy laws. However, they may disclose relevant information when necessary for claim handling or legal proceedings.

5. What happens if an employee disagrees with the findings of an IME?

If an employee disagrees with the findings of an IME, it’s advisable to seek legal advice or request a second opinion from another qualified healthcare professional.

IMEs can impact employee privacy rights in Nova Scotia by collecting personal information, disclosing it to third parties, limiting control over who conducts the examination, accessing previous records without proper consent, and potentially impacting future employability based on the results. While these examinations serve important purposes in assessing medical conditions and eligibility for benefits or accommodations, it’s crucial that employers and all involved parties handle personal health information responsibly and respect individuals’ privacy rights throughout the process.