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Privacy Re: Health Issues and the Workplace
rachael67 posted:
Knowing how much to share with employers and how much can be required to be shared is often a concern for patients. Here are a few guidelines in that area:

Your medical records are shared by a range of people both in and out of the health industry. Generally, you have to give your permission before they share them. However, you might not have the choice if you want to obtain insurance benefits.

Usually employers get your medical information by asking you to authorize disclosure of the records. Sometimes this falls outside of HIPAA rules..for instance, if they ask this as part of a background check for employment.

Now onto the Disabilities Act which might prove most beneficial to you... (Please note that sometimes these rules apply only when the business employs more than a set number of employees) :

According to the federal Americans with Disabilities Act in workplaces with more than 15 employees (ADA text, 42 USC ?12101 et seq. )

  • Employers may not ask job applicants about medical information or require a physical examination prior to offering employment. After employment is offered, an employer can only ask for a medical examination if it is required of all employees holding similar jobs.
  • If you are turned down for work based on the results of a medical examination, the employer must prove that it is physically impossible for you to do the work required.

Report violations of the ADA to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Phone: (800) 669-4000. Web: .
For more on health information in the workplace, see the Department of Health and Human Services webpage on Employers and Health Information in the Workplace .

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