What Happens If An Ime Suggests Permanent Work Restrictions In Ontario?

Quick Overview:If an Independent Medical Examination (IME) suggests permanent work restrictions in Ontario, it can have significant implications for both the employee and the employer. It is important to understand the potential impact of these recommendations and how they may affect various aspects of employment.

1. Legal obligations: In Ontario, employers have a legal duty to accommodate employees with disabilities up to the point of undue hardship. If an IME suggests permanent work restrictions, employers must assess whether they can reasonably accommodate these restrictions.
2. Accommodation process: The accommodation process involves engaging in meaningful discussions with the employee to explore possible accommodations that would allow them to perform their job duties within their limitations.
3. Reasonable accommodation: Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations unless doing so would cause undue hardship. This means considering options such as modifying job duties, providing assistive devices or equipment, or adjusting work schedules.
4. Undue hardship: Undue hardship refers to situations where accommodating an employee’s permanent work restrictions would result in excessive costs or operational disruptions for the employer.
5. Termination as a last resort: If accommodating an employee’s permanent work restrictions poses undue hardship despite reasonable efforts by the employer, termination may be considered as a last resort.


1. Can an employer refuse accommodation based on IME recommendations?
No, employers cannot automatically refuse accommodation based solely on IME recommendations but must consider them alongside other factors such as medical evidence and expert opinions.

2. What if there are conflicting opinions between different medical professionals?
In cases where there are conflicting opinions regarding an employee’s permanent work restrictions, employers should seek further clarification from additional experts or specialists before making any decisions.

3. Can employees request specific accommodations based on IME suggestions?
Yes, employees can request specific accommodations based on IME suggestions; however, it is ultimately up to the employer to determine what accommodations are reasonable and feasible.

4. Are there financial supports available for employers to implement accommodations?
Yes, in some cases, employers may be eligible for financial supports or grants to help cover the costs of implementing accommodations. Employers should consult with relevant government agencies or programs to explore available options.

5. Can an employer terminate an employee if they cannot accommodate their permanent work restrictions?
Termination should only be considered as a last resort after all reasonable accommodation efforts have been exhausted and accommodating the employee’s restrictions would cause undue hardship.

6. What if an employee disagrees with the IME recommendations?
If an employee disagrees with the IME recommendations, they can seek a second opinion from another medical professional and provide this information to their employer during the accommodation process.

7. Are there any legal consequences for not accommodating permanent work restrictions?
Failure to accommodate permanent work restrictions without demonstrating undue hardship can result in legal consequences such as human rights complaints and potential liability for damages.

When faced with IME suggestions of permanent work restrictions in Ontario, both employees and employers must navigate the accommodation process carefully. Employers have a duty to reasonably accommodate employees unless it causes undue hardship, while employees should actively participate in discussions about possible accommodations based on their limitations. Seeking expert advice and considering multiple perspectives is crucial in ensuring compliance with legal obligations and avoiding potential legal repercussions.