What is the law regarding HR and an HR assistant and confidentiality?

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What is the law regarding HR and an HR assistant and confidentiality?

The receptionist here at our large company had to miss work for some very personal reasons. She went to the doctor and was given excuses. When she returned to work she was hesitant to turn them in because, we have HR and an HR assistant. We just hired an HR director. Well she had to explain to both the HR and the assistant the reasons and because she was told that they would not and could not tell anyone her business, she went ahead and told them something else. About a month later, she has had 3 people in our company tell her that the HR assistant told them what had happened to her and not just one thing both of the private things she told them. Finally she decided to write our new HR director and CC the president. She asked if what happened was right. She did not yet get an answer.

Asked on August 9, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

There is no law about HR and HR assistant confidentiality. Unless the HR assistant or director specifically signed some form of confidentiality agreement, they could disclose anything the receptionist told them that wasn't certain kinds of protected medical information, or wasn't private personal identifiers, like a social security number.


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