When dealing with requests for accommodation, employee absenteeism and other medical circumstances, employers are routinely faced with the challenge of balancing employee privacy interests against the operational interests of the business when determining how much medical information and what kind of medical information employers can request. The analysis typically centres on the issue of what is reasonable in the circumstances, with diagnostic information being considered to be a clear delineation point as to what employers may request and not request. At the Canadian Senate in January, the question of the protection personal health information took on a new angle, centering around an individual’s right to privacy in respect of their personal genetic information.
On January 21, 2016, various hospitals, natural health product manufacturers, physicians and pharmaceutical companies found themselves specifically named by Health Canada in a published list of health product advertising complaints. Health Canada provided details of over 152 advertising infractions investigated between October, 2014 and September, 2015.