Right to Disclose Medical Records

Can my Employer demand to see my private medical records?

Usually not. 

      Generally, you have a right to privacy in the information contained in your medical records.The right to privacy in your medical records is protected by numerous laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Health Information Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA), and state statutes.  These laws also mean that your employer cannot ask your doctor for your medical records without your permission. 

      There are some exceptions, however, to your right to privacy in your medical records.  For example, if you have been out on a family / medical leave, your employer may require you to provide information from your doctor justifying the leave and indicating that you are physically able to return to work.  Also, your employer may be able to ask for information contained in your private medical records if your job involves a “matter of public safety.”  For example, one court found that an employer could ask bus drivers in New York City to provide a doctor’s note detailing the reasons for a bus driver’s sick leave because the bus driver’s ability to do his or her job involved the safety of others. 

      If you have any specific questions, contact us at the Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore. 

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