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Can my employer share my medical findings with others at work?

Port Saint Lucie, FL |

Recently I was diagnosed with Shingles. I contacted my employer to let them know I was going to be out for 2 days as I couldn't see due to the shingles. Upon returning many of my peers asked me about my condition, it appears the whole building knows now. It was also brought to my attention that my work space was fumigated. Do I have any legal rights? I confided in my employer, now everyone knows and its mortifying.

Attorney Answers 3


You should consult with a local plaintiff employment attorney to be sure, but there is no such thing as employer/employee confidentiality or privilege. Barring such a privilege (ie., attorney-client, priest-penitent, doctor/therapist-patient) people are under no legal obligation to keep your secrets. Furthermore, here, they had to take action so others would not become infected. Also, HIPAA applies to medical facilities, not employers.

We do not have an attorney-client relationship. I am not your lawyer. The statements I have made do not constitute legal advice. Any statements I have made are based upon the very limited facts you have presented, and under the premise that you will consult with a local attorney. This is not an attempt to solicit business. This disclaimer is in addition to any disclaimers that this website has made. I am only licensed in California.

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In some instances you have a privacy right violation you can bring if certain information is disclosed. However, here it appears that you disclosed your condition which you were not legally obligated to do in order to be excused from work. Also, if the shingles affected your vision I assume it was on your face and if you returned to work just two days later the shingles would have still been obvious. More information would be needed to give more specific response. I recommend you speak with local counsel.

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Meet with one of AVVO's experienced employment attorney's fora free consultation.

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