What is my legal obligation if one of my employees came to work with a contagious condition and my clients were exposed to it?

One of my employees came to work without telling me about her having whooping cough. Needless to say over 300 patients came through my door and have been exposed to this. What are my legal responsibility regarding this. I know professional courtesy would be to contact them and let them know of the situation. What do I do?

Asked on July 25, 2010 under Malpractice Law, Colorado


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you are a physician and you are aware of the conditions as they exist in what you have indicated here then I think that it is far more than "professional courtesy."   You would be held to a much higher standard of care than any other person due to your knowledge of the gravity of the situation.  That would be like an attorney indicating that they did not read the contract they signed personally.  They would be held to a much higher standard before a Judge on a breach of the contract.  I would call your local health department and then seek their help in contacting the patients either by phone or by letter.  Good luck.

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