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J Law Med. 2009 May;16(5):803-21.

Emerging legal concerns with chronic diseases in the Australian workplace: pre-employment medicals, functional capacity evaluations, workers' compensation and disability discrimination.

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1
School of Business Law and Taxation, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia. rob.guthrie@cbs.curtin.edu.au

Abstract

Although considerable attention is paid to injury and disease sustained or contracted through work causes, by far the most prolific cause of diminished health in the Australian workplace is chronic illness, which is not caused by work but which may have significant effects upon the work environment. Employers' concerns in relation to loss of productivity through poor health are reflected in a number of practices such as pre-employment screening, on-the-job drug testing and other health and safety requirements. In turn, workers' concerns regarding discrimination, workers' compensation and privacy are frequently raised in relation to discussions on workplace fitness for work. This article reflects on the issues of chronic illness and the legal issues which arise through the interaction of employers' obligations for safety and efficiency and workers' concerns with fairness and privacy.

PMID:
19554861
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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