Can My Employer Discuss Why I Am Off Sick?


7 Answers

Alex Wheeler Profile
Alex Wheeler answered
Under the Data Protection Act 1998 an employee’s health conditions and illnesses are covered and considered as ‘sensitive data’. This means that your employer is not at liberty to disclose the reasons you are off work to anyone else without your prior permission. 

In general, an employee is not obliged to disclose all of his or her medical condition but many inform their employer out of courtesy. However, in some circumstances, it may be obligatory to fully disclose reasons for your absence. This may be so your employer can fully assess the situation to ensure that health and safety requirements at work are met. However, if this is not required then an employee does not need to disclose the nature of illness simply how it affects his or her work, and when they expect to be feeling better and be able to go back to work.

If you feel that your employer has disclosed to other people the reasons why you are off and details of any illness then this is a big breach of the Data Protection Act which could lead to a fine for the company or worse depending on the extent of the breach.

The Data Protection Act 1998 was made to protect a person’s personal and sensitive information; this ranges from sexual orientation, racial or ethnic origins to his or her physical and mental health conditions. Sensitive data is information that is classified and can only be disclosed either with permission from the person who’s information it is or in exceptional circumstances.
martha Profile
martha answered
I would honestly think this is a breach of confidentiality.  Your boss could just say you are having health concerns, or whatnot, and leave it at that.  I do not think going into detail in re: To the depression is ethical.  And to display your med. Note is very much a no no.  You work in the health field as did I yrs. Ago, and you know about the HIPA thing- we could not do that to a patient, so we  should be given the same respect when WE are the patient.
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Janet Simmons
Janet Simmons commented
I agree 100%. Especially if your employer is in the Med field...he/she should know better than to break that confidentiality.
Jodi Storlie Profile
Jodi Storlie answered
It IS against the law and wrong for your boss to tell other employees why you are off work. If I were you I would contact a lawyer!!
thanked the writer.
Anonymous commented
Thanks for the reply jstorlie how do you know its against the law if you don't mind me asking.
Nikki Profile
Nikki answered
Due to the HIPAA Privacy Rule, ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Note: I'm in school for Health Information Technology and doing a research paper on HIPAA.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
What is he talking to any one about you .Your not in today .He must not have enough to do if he has time to stand around talking about people that aren't at work.He meeds to talk about the ones at work .they are the ones he should be watching.
richard pitta Profile
richard pitta answered
In New JErsey. I was out sick went to the doctor got a note and gave it to my employer.including the co-pay stub. They say they want the explanation of benefits??  CAn they ask for this? Are they violating my rights?

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