Can my employer share my medical information with co-workers?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can my employer share my medical information with co-workers?

I recently took a drug test for my job. It should come back clean although the dip stick test threw a false positive but I’m clean. Anyway, my boss is telling everyone at work that I’m fired for failing when the results haven’t even come back from the lab yet. Everytime I call she says she doesn’t know; she is waiting for the results. Is it right for her to slander me or share privileged information with everyone at work when I haven’t even been informed myself?

Asked on April 16, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Arkansas

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can sue your employer for defamation and invasion of privacy.  These are separate causes of action (claims) in your lawsuit.

Defamation is communication of a false statement with knowledge of its falsity to a third party who recognizes the defamatory content of the statement and the statement is injurious to your reputation.  Each repetition of the defamatory statement is actionable in a lawsuit for defamation.

Slander is spoken defamation.  Libel is written defamation.

The false statement about the drug test is clearly defamatory.  Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) for defamation would include mental distress, the loss of friends and associates resulting from the defamation, if applicable physical illness and medical bills.

Your claim for invasion of privacy would be based on the disclosure of your medical information to your co-workers.  Your damages for invasion of privacy would include mental distress, physical illness, harm to your business or social interests.  Punitive damages ( a substantial amount to punish your employer's intentional, malicious, wrongful acts) would also be available.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption