How Does An IME Interact With The Duty To Accommodate Under Nova Scotia Human Rights Law?

Brief Overview:
An Independent Medical Examination (IME) plays a significant role in the duty to accommodate under Nova Scotia Human Rights Law. Employers, insurance companies, and the legal community rely on IMEs to assess an individual’s physical or mental capabilities and determine the appropriate accommodations required.

5 supporting facts:

1. IMEs provide objective medical evidence: An IME is conducted by an independent healthcare professional who evaluates an individual’s functional limitations and ability to perform job-related tasks. This evaluation provides objective medical evidence that helps employers make informed decisions regarding accommodation.

2. Determines reasonable accommodations: The findings of an IME help employers identify reasonable accommodations that will enable individuals with disabilities to perform their job duties effectively without undue hardship on the organization.

3. Supports decision-making process: Employers can use IME reports as valuable tools for evaluating disability claims, assessing work capacity, and determining appropriate accommodation measures.

4. Assists in addressing conflicting medical opinions: In cases where there are conflicting medical opinions from treating physicians, an IME can provide neutral and unbiased assessments that help resolve these disagreements and form a more accurate understanding of an individual’s abilities.

5. Promotes fairness in accommodation processes: Including an IME as part of the duty-to-accommodate process ensures fairness for all parties involved – both employees seeking accommodations and employers responsible for providing them.


1. What is the purpose of conducting an Independent Medical Examination?
Answer: An Independent Medical Examination helps determine an individual’s functional limitations or abilities based on unbiased medical evaluations by independent healthcare professionals.

2. Who typically requests an Independent Medical Examination?
Answer: Employers, insurance companies, or legal representatives may request someone undergoes an IME during disability management processes or when there are concerns about accommodating a person with disabilities adequately.

3. Can individuals refuse to attend an Independent Medical Examination?
Answer: In most cases, individuals cannot refuse to attend these examinations if they are essential to determine accommodations or evaluate disability claims, as long as the IME is reasonable and not excessively intrusive.

4. Are employers bound to implement accommodation measures recommended in an IME report?
Answer: Employers must seriously consider recommendations provided by an IME report but are not obligated to implement every recommendation verbatim. They should address each recommendation and consider how it aligns with their organization’s capacity and available resources.

5. Can individuals challenge the findings of an Independent Medical Examination?
Answer: Individuals can request a copy of the IME report if they disagree with its findings or conclusions. They can provide additional medical evidence supporting their position, which will be taken into consideration when making accommodation decisions.

6. Under what circumstances could an employer refuse accommodations based on an IME report?
Answer: An employer may deny accommodation if they can demonstrate significant financial hardship or that providing the requested accommodation would fundamentally alter essential job requirements.

7. Can employers use multiple Independent Medical Examinations for different purposes within the same case?
Answer: Yes, depending on the specific needs of each stage of the process (e.g., determining overall functional limitations versus assessing suitability for specific job tasks), multiple independent assessments may be required.


An Independent Medical Examination serves as a crucial tool in navigating Nova Scotia Human Rights Law’s duty-to-accommodate provisions effectively. It provides objective medical evidence, supports decision-making processes, assists in addressing conflicting opinions, promotes fairness throughout accommodations processes while respecting both individual rights and employer responsibilities under human rights legislation.