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Know Your Rights, First Quarter of 2011

Confidentiality of Medical Information

It is always a difficult and stressful time when dealing with an illness or health-related condition. Hopefully, you can take some comfort in knowing that the City, its officers and employees must respect the confidentiality of your medical information and must abide by the guidelines that are set forth in Personnel Manual Section J-4.

According to Section 62.2 of MEA’s MOU, “The City acknowledges that an employee’s constitutional rights of privacy entitles an employee to decline to disclose or to permit his or her physician to disclose the nature of an illness, diagnosis or prognosis unless otherwise required by Workers’ Compensation statute, by the employee application for Industrial Leave or Long Term Disability benefits, State or Federal Law, application for employment, or required as part of a City mandated physical examination. To the extent that an employee’s absence(s) due to illness have or may result in discipline or placement on a “doctor’s list”, the employee, at his or her own option, may disclose these details to the appropriate person in his or her chain of command or directly to the Department Head if the employee wishes. Because of this acknowledged right of privacy, the form for an employee’s request for a leave of absence shall not require disclosure of the nature of an illness or require authorization for release of a medical provider’s records.”

Please do not hesitate to contact your MEA labor representative if you are being pressured or required to disclose your medical condition and/or health information. We are here to protect and enforce your rights!