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Is it a violation to make a worker pass out a paper from doctor with explanation of a...

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kevinanddawn | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 5, 2009 at 9:47 PM via web

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Is it a violation to make a worker pass out a paper from doctor with explanation of a disease you may have exposed them to?

my wife took child to dr. on way home had to stop by work which is a public place she then was telling a co-worker about childs illness. the next day she was called into office and chewed out she was also told to go home to get the papers provided from doctor about daughters disease and copy them and highlight areas about how disease could be transferred and pass these out to her co-workers. she conducted some business while she was there the day of the doctor visit. a co-worker blew this out of proportion and lied about what was said by my wife.

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urzula | Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted February 14, 2009 at 8:13 AM (Answer #1)

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There is a legal right know as physician-patient privilege.  As a parent, your wife stands in the place of your daughter –patient. By speaking to the co-worker it seems she may have waived that privilege, but only as to the information provided.

The employer may simply want verification of the doctor’s visit. It would not be unreasonable to provide that verification, but only you and your wife can waive the physician-patient privilege.

Medical information is also protected under the federal HIPAA law.

The easiest thing is to get the letter verifying the visit. I would have the physician indicate in the note that details of the visit are confidential under the law. In other words, let the doctor “be the bad guy.”

Remember that you state might have specific laws that deal with this issue, and this is a generalized answer.  You should contact an employment lawyer in your State if you want to pursue this further.

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