The U.S. Postal Service violated federal civil rights law by releasing an employee’s medical information to a private party in response to a state court subpoena, according to a recent Equal Employment Opportunity Commission opinion. Bennett v. U.S. Postal Service (E.E.O.C. 2011).
Bennett was a maintenance mechanic at the Postal Service’s North Houston Processing & Distribution Center who injured his back while on duty in December of 2001. He was given multiple limited-duty assignments, but his physician ultimately ordered him to stop working entirely in August 2004.
In February 2004, the Postal Service was served with a subpoena in connection with a lawsuit Bennett had brought against Union Carbide Corp. Among other things, the subpoena requested Bennett’s medical records. A Postal Service human resources associate assembled and sent the requested information.
Bennett alleged that the Postal Service improperly released his confidential medical information in violation of federal regulations. The Postal Service argued that it had no choice but to release the information, as it was compelled to do so by subpoena.
The EEOC noted that Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires that information regarding an employee’s medical condition be treated as confidential with the following exceptions: supervisors and managers may be informed regarding necessary restrictions on the work or duties of the employee and necessary accommodations; first aid and safety personnel may be informed, when appropriate, if the disability might require emergency treatment; and government officials investigating compliance are entitled to relevant information on request.
The EEOC found the Postal Service’s release of the information improper. “Although not all medically-related information falls within the confidentiality provision, documentation or information concerning an individual’s diagnosis is without question medical information that must be treated as confidential,” the EEOC concluded, adding that while exceptions to this rule exist, none applied to the present case.
“Unfortunately, employers can’t take the position that they are covered legally whenever they respond to a subpoena,” says MSEC attorney Curtis Graves. “We would urge our members to call us whenever they need to respond to a subpoena with information about a current or former employee.”
Thanks for the article post.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.
I appreciate for your time that you took to write this. It helped me a ton. We’ll back to read more articles like these. Thanks.
I’m usually to running a blog and i really recognize your content. The article has actually peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your site and keep checking for brand spanking new information.
I am bookmarking you for future reference.
Will there be anymore information you can give on this matter ? It answers a good deal of my questions but there is still more details I need. I will drop you an email if I can find it. Never mind I will just use the contact form. Hopefully you can help me further.
I regard something genuinely interesting about your website so I saved to favorites .
hello SEO guys, I love all your prasing comments, but can we discuss SEO too?
Hi, I found this blog in yahoo, it is really readable! The first time I met with a blog with such interesting posts.
Hello! I’ve been reading your weblog for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Humble Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the great work!
I just wanted to comment and say that I really enjoyed reading your blog post here. It was very informative and I also digg the way you write! Keep it up and I’ll be back to read more in the future
I admire your piece of work, thankyou for all the informative content .
I like this post, enjoyed this one regards for putting up.
As I website possessor I believe the content here is really great , thanks for your efforts.
I intended to put you this bit of observation just to thank you so much again for those precious knowledge you have shared above. It was quite seriously generous of you in giving extensively all a number of us might have marketed for an e book in order to make some dough on their own, certainly considering the fact that you could possibly have tried it if you desired. These principles also acted like the good way to be sure that other individuals have the identical fervor really like my personal own to learn more with regard to this problem. I know there are millions of more fun opportunities up front for many who take a look at your blog post.
oh yeah cool, this information is actually beneficial and without a doubt will be opinion worthwhile! hahah. I’ll determine if I could try to use some of these details pertaining to my own blog. Thanks!
I’m typically to blogging and i really admire your content. The article has actually peaks my interest. I’m going to bookmark your web site and hold checking for brand new information.
I too conceive thence , perfectly written post! .
I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your website. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your theme? Great work!