You have the right to say NO if you’re in the situation where “my boss insists on going with me to my medical appointment”
On occasion, injured workers report to us that, during their compensation claim, their employer is insisting on attending their doctors appointments. Sometimes, they try to make it sound like it is in the injured worker’s best interests for the employer to be present at their medical appointments (e.g. “It will help us better understand the limitations on what you can do at work …”).
However, an injured worker ought to be very cautious in allowing the employer to be present at medical appointments.
The employer has no legal right to be at the appointment. It is an infringement of your right to privacy. You have a right to select your own doctor and you have the right to have your medical appointments conducted in private.
Why should you protect your right to confidential medical appointments?
You need to be full and frank and candid with your doctor (not just about the injury but about any medical concern). This enables the doctor to have the best available information to provide you with the best care. This helps your doctor to recommend the most appropriate treatment options. Having someone from work sitting in and listening to your discussions with the doctor might inhibit your tendency to be open with the doctor about all your medical concerns.
There is also a risk that the employer could encourage the doctor to recommend a plan that best suits the employers agenda, which can be an intimidating experience for you (particularly if you don’t feel comfortable speaking up and being assertive in front of your boss).
How can you respond to a request by your employer to attend the appointments?
You can politely respond by saying you don’t feel comfortable having the employer sit in on the medical appointment. Tell the employer that the medical appointment is private and that you wish to keep it that way. If you wish, you can tell the employer that you will update them with relevant information after the appointment.
If necessary, the doctor can provide you with a medical certificate to pass onto the employer. If you authorise it, the doctor can also prepare a report that contains their recommendations regarding any work restrictions. This should be sufficient to provide the employer any information they might need to know.
What if my boss still insists on going with me to my medical appointment – or suggests I could lose shifts?
You should speak with a personal injury lawyer to protect your employment rights or your rights to privacy. If you have concerns about how your injury claim is being handled, you should also get legal advice about the best way to protect your claim and preserve evidence to support the impact the injury has had on you. This can mean the difference between an unsatisfactory outcome and a great outcome that enables you to get your life back on track.
Contact our team of personal injury lawyers on 1300 025 101 if you would like to know more about your rights.
Posted in: Personal Injury
September 06 2021