Breach of privacy and medical records for work accommodation

I have been away from work on leave of absent due to work place harassment and mistreatments and my STD claim was declined by Oncidium. Now Oncidium is not a insurance company, they are a third party “health management” that does leave management. Both my physicians have cleared me for gradual return to work any mentioned that I am able to fulfill my duties with accommodation . My psychologist have written a medical report asking for accommodation of reduced hours and quieter office space. However Oncidium is asking me to sign a release form for my doctors to disclose my entire medical reports. Including diagnosis, prognosis, medication, symptoms etc. Both my doctors have advised me against signing the release form and neither of them are willing to disclose more than what they have said on the physicians report. I’ve done extensive research and both my doctors are correct in saying this is illegal to ask for so many intrusive medical information and it is the breach of medical and privacy rights to ask for all my medical record just because we have ask for reasonable accommodation for me to return to work. Just to be clear I don’t receive any payments or benefits from any insurance companies or my employer while I was away on medical leave. My employer and Oncidium are so keen to get their hands on my medical records for some reason and their reasoning behind it is that they need to substantiate my reasons for being away from work. While I was away both my doctors completed countless medical reports and doctors note which was given to both my employer and Oncidium. Has anyone else had to deal with something similar? All I know is that I’m not signing anything for them.

Thanks everyone.

You were on unpaid leave of absence from work?
Oncidium wants your medical records because you asked for accommodation?
You don’t have an approved claim and I don’t know how that affects a return to work.
Maybe they want your medical records so they can approve your claim and then approve a return to work.

Thanks for your reply. That’s right, I have been away on unpaid leave. They made it clear when I started my leave that because my anxiety and depression was caused at work then I would not be covered. They are saying they need to substantiate the time I was away and make a decision if I need accommodation at all. They have tried calling my psychologist without my consent as well. They are saying because they declined my STD then my leave is unsupported despite all the medical notes and reports my doctors provided. They are very adamant that they make the decision to approve if I’m sick and not my doctors.

That is their right.
Even if you give them your complete medical records, it still might not be enough.
It is to your benefit to give them all the medical records and if they still deny your claim then get a disability lawyer OR you could go straight to getting a disability lawyer.
I would get the free consult from Resolute:

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Generally speaking, people with disability claims have a reduced expectation of privacy than someone in the general public, however, employers or their agents are never allowed unfettered access to personal medical information. The rule is that they should always seek the minimum information necessary for them to make a decision – this is normally does not include things like diagnosis, etc. Generally speaking I advise against signing the broadly worded release forms like you are describing – however, you do have to show you cooperate in giving reasonable information, so you always want to suggest a less intrusive alternative for them, even if they end up refusing.

David Brannen

Disability Lawyer with Resolute Legal

The response posted above is based on the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with a lawyer, fully explain your situation, and allow the lawyer enough time to research the applicable law and facts required to give an adequate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full one-on-one discussion with a lawyer should be done before taking any any action. The information posted on this forum is available to the viewing public and is not intended to create a lawyer client relationship with any person. If you want one-on-one advice, please click here to request a free consultation or call toll free 1-877-282-5188 to speak with a member with our disability claim support team.

Went through it all.

They want all your information so they can use it against you, later.

If you want accommodation and they are playing hardball like that, a lawyer may be an option if it is financially sound. Good idea if you wish to go for LTD, even partial.

With accommodation I would suggest a Human Rights complaint, this is my route at this time.

I am still fighting for STD and LTD.


Maya, is the Oncidium office you are referring to the Vaughan office on Steeles St West?

If so I have an ongoing issue with them . They have colluded with my former employer with respect to medical reports written by their " specialists" including a physician who has been the subject of a complaint before the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. The medical reports are tailored to suit the needs of their corporate/ government clients. They purposely delayed giving me a copy of a report. The collusion includes their administrative staff, their physicians and their client. I took early retirement and suffered loss of salary/ benefits which retroactively and in the future are worth large sums of money. i have to live on a markedly reduce pension. This has been ongoing since 2018.

Hi Lasi,
Yes, their HQ is in Vaughan. Their entire team of nurses and supposedly doctors are morally bankrupt.If you search Oncidium complaints you can find out everyone have the same issues with them. To date I’ve never received my reports put together by them, even after complaining and paying $58 for the information. I gave up fighting for my benefits and short term disability, because the undue stress it was causing me was not worth it and was delaying my recovery. They even tried to contact my psychologist without my permission to access my files.
I’m sorry you have to deal with them. However, if you can please don’t give up and gather assistance from a lawyer.

Thanks very much for replying.

I’m not giving up. I’ll probably seek legal action against my employer and Oncidium jointly.

It’s interesting you have their last names. All my correspondence only had their first names. Once I inquired about their full names, but they refused to disclose any information due to privacy reasons. Come to think of it now, it makes absolute sense that they don’t provide their full names due to all complaints against them. I know exactly how frustrating it is dealing with them, they don’t answer phone calls and emails go unanswered unless when they want more information or declining the claims.
Keep fighting and keep us posted.

Maya, I just realized that I may be posting on the wrong forum. I googled Oncidium complaints which led me to this website Forum.

My employer used Oncidium to assess me for a "fitness to work " evaluation but what I became to realize was that their real intention was to gain leverage over me by having their staff occupational physician refer me to their hand picked psychiatrist who wrote an inaccurate report suggesting " therapy " and or medication which my employer enforced.

Although my issue is not pertaining to disability with Oncidium ( there is a separate issue with Sunlife) I wanted to gain/ share information with how Oncidium

I think there is a certain amount of arrogance by both Oncidium and my former employer that they have been getting away with transgressions for years and they don’t actually think anyone will fight back.