When Is It Appropriate For A Toronto-Based Employer To Request An Ime?

Quick Overview:Toronto-based employers may request an Independent Medical Examination (IME) when they require objective medical information to make informed decisions regarding their employees’ ability to perform job duties. IMEs can help determine the extent of a worker’s impairment, provide recommendations for accommodation or return-to-work plans, and assist in managing disability claims.


1. When there are concerns about an employee’s ability to perform essential job functions: Employers may request an IME if they have legitimate concerns about an employee’s physical or mental fitness to perform essential job duties. This could be due to a recent injury, illness, or ongoing health condition that affects work performance.

2. When determining appropriate accommodations: If an employer is unsure about what accommodations are necessary for an employee with a disability, requesting an IME can provide valuable insights into the individual’s limitations and abilities. The examiner can recommend reasonable accommodations that will enable the employee to continue working effectively.

3. When evaluating long-term disability claims: Toronto-based employers often rely on IMEs when assessing long-term disability claims filed by their employees. An independent assessment from a qualified medical professional ensures objectivity and helps determine whether the claimant meets the criteria for receiving benefits.

4. When seeking expert opinions for legal cases: In situations where legal disputes arise from workplace injuries or illnesses, employers may need expert medical opinions to support their case in court. Requesting an IME allows them access to impartial assessments that can strengthen their position during litigation proceedings.

5. When exploring options for vocational rehabilitation: If it becomes apparent that returning an injured worker back to their previous role is not feasible, employers might seek guidance through IMEs on suitable alternative employment opportunities within the organization or elsewhere.


1. Is obtaining consent from employees necessary before requesting an IME?
Yes, under Canadian privacy laws such as Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), employers must obtain written consent from employees before requesting an IME. Failure to do so can result in a violation of privacy rights.

2. Can employees refuse to attend an IME?
While employees may have concerns about attending an IME, employers can generally insist on it as long as they have reasonable grounds for doing so. However, engaging in open communication and addressing employee concerns is crucial to maintaining positive relationships.

3. Who pays for the cost of an IME?
In most cases, the employer bears the costs associated with arranging and conducting an IME. It is considered a necessary business expense related to managing disability claims or ensuring workplace safety.

4. How are medical professionals selected for conducting IMEs?
Employers typically engage independent medical professionals who specialize in relevant fields based on the nature of the employee’s condition or injury. These professionals should be unbiased and experienced in performing assessments that align with legal requirements.

5. Are there any limitations on how frequently employers can request an IME?
There are no specific limitations under Toronto labor laws regarding how often employers can request an IME; however, excessive or unjustified requests may be seen as harassment or intrusion into employees’ privacy rights.

6. Can employees challenge the findings of an IME report?
Employees have the right to challenge the findings of an IME report if they believe it does not accurately reflect their condition or capabilities. They can provide additional medical evidence supporting their case and seek review through appropriate channels within their organization or legal avenues if necessary.

7. What happens after receiving the results of an IME?
Once employers receive the results from an IME, they should carefully review them alongside other relevant information before making informed decisions about accommodation measures, return-to-work plans, disability benefits, or potential termination processes if deemed necessary.

Toronto-based employers may request Independent Medical Examinations (IMEs) when they need objective medical information related to job performance issues, accommodations for disabled workers, evaluating disability claims, legal disputes, or exploring vocational rehabilitation options. However, employers must ensure compliance with privacy laws and maintain open communication with employees throughout the IME process.