Can my supervisor go around telling people in my department that I was an alcoholic?


Rita Risser Chai replies:

No. This violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, which specifically prohibits discrimination against recovering alcoholics. Your state may also have a medical confidentiality law. It also is an invasion of your privacy. For all of these reasons, you may want to consult a local attorney. Good luck.   

Posted 07-17-2018

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.


About the Author:

Rita M. Risser Chai is the founder of Fair Measures. An attorney in California for 20 years and now an attorney in Hawaii, she authored the Prentice Hall book, Stay Out of Court! The Manager’s Guide to Preventing Employee Lawsuits. She developed most of the curriculum used by Fair Measures, created the firm’s first website praised in HR Magazine, and wrote numerous articles on employment law including one on best practice harassment prevention training published in the magazine of the American Society for Training and Development (now ATD). She taught Law and Human Resources at the University of California, Santa Cruz, for eight years, and has presented four times at the annual conventions of the Hawaii Society of Human Resource Management.