Jan 15, 2008
I have an email in which my manager at work disclosed my HIV status to a subordinate. Apparently these two are private friends and my manager was approached by this associate and asked if I was HIV positive. He then answered in the affirmative. I have contacted Human resources at my employer and asked that we find out who is talking about this, so that we can close this loop and address respect and confientiality. Neither my manager nor the individual who approached him with this rumor, will disclose who the third party is. My question is, do I have an legal right to force disclosure?
This has caused me a great deal of concern and I just wnat to be certain that everyone understands that this is not okay to talk about
Response from Ms. Breuer
The person who should be on the hot seat in this scenario is your manager. It doesn't matter whom that person has told. What matters is that your manager broke the law by violating your privacy. If I were you, I'd shift gears and suggest to HR that the manager is legally liable for violating your medical confidentiality, then ask what HR is going to do about the disclosure. If you're not satisfied with the action, you have the right to contact an attorney. But don't focus on your right to know who was told. Ironically, that's not your right. The right to have your medical information kept confidential IS your right and your appropriate focus.
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