Can employee be required to disclose medications?

Can my employer require all its employees to disclose what medications they are taking (they say it’s for emergency purposes only) and keep it on file?

Posted  10-07-2013

Steve Duggan replies:

I believe they can, if it’s for a permissible reason for the requirement. Just one example is for a safety position, i.e. construction and first responder jobs, where there may be a need to have that information available in emergency situations where the employee cannot communicate and family members cannot be reached. Another example might be if employees were working in remote locations where it was difficult to get or provide the emergency care an employee might need. There may of course be others. Of course, the employer would have to safeguard the information and the privacy of the employee, just as it does for any other medical information that comes into its possession. If you feel that there is no such reason in your case, I suggest that you consult first with HR, and if your concerns are not eased by that discussion, with a local employment attorney. Good luck!

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:

Steve Duggan graduated from the Law School at the University of Notre Dame while on active duty in the Air Force. He has extensive experience representing management litigating cases of wrongful termination, employment discrimination, and sexual harassment. Steve also has experience in all phases of administrative litigation of unfair labor practice charges, and class and individual complaints of employment discrimination. He has been an instructor of seminars for supervisors and managers on labor management relations and other personnel issues, and for lawyers in basic and advanced trial advocacy courses. Steve came on board with Fair Measures in 1998.