We just received a memo stating that all employees are prohibited from sharing and/or discussing our medical records with anyone other than HR, which feels like a restriction of my right to control the disclosure of my PHI.

Rita Risser Chai replies:

You have the right to reveal your PHI to whomever you want, but your employer’s concern makes sense, too. Fair Measures receives hundreds of emails from employees every year alleging that supervisors or co-workers who they shared their private medical information with then revealed it to family members, co-workers, neighbors, exes, and everyone else. Many of these complaints blow back on the employer. Bottom line, legally you can reveal that information, but we don’t advise it since it can lead to problems and violate the policy.

But, if you think that your health has been damaged by exposure to hazardous substances on the job or dangerous workplace conditions, you do have a right to discuss those concerns with your co-workers under both OSHA rules and those of the National Labor Relations Board.

Posted 04-05-2018

Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.