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Employee Privacy Right-Medical Records

Many states prohibit unauthorized disclosure of an employee’s medical records as well as the unauthorized acquisition of medical information. Some states require that an applicant or employee not be charged the cost of an employer-requested physical test and given a copy of the result. In other states, for example California, it is mandatory to obtain the written consent of the job applicant or the employee before disclosing the information to the employer.

What does medical record contain?

Medical records are created when an individual receives treatment from a health professional, such as physician, nurse, dentist, chiropractor or psychiatrist. The record may also include individuals or family medical history, details about smoking habits or past drug or alcohol abuse. Records also contain laboratory test results, medications prescribed, and operation undergone, etc.

Employee rights

  • The employee has considerable rights in the event that if confidential medical information is conveyed to outsiders without the consent or knowledge and is used to the employee’s disadvantage.
  • Medical data, all information related to the employee’s health, diagnosis and treatment of illness or any information revealed during medical consultations must be maintained in the strictest confidence to avoid violations of state privacy laws.
  • Medical records should be kept separately from personnel records.
  • The confidentiality of medical records is covered by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under ADA, result of any medical examinations or information must be kept on separate forms and in a separate file and should be kept confidential.
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