Can my employer and HR discuss me with other employees?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can my employer and HR discuss me with other employees?

Recently, I have had a couple medical problems to where I have to take medicine. I work 40 hours a week and have some side effects of the medicine, one of them being drowsy at times. I was told to report this to my manager when it happens, I drive a forklift and I’ll do a different job. I now am finding out that I may lose my position at my job even though I followed the guideline, and that the HR manager and other members of management have been talking behind my back to other employees, one of which is my brother, as to what to do with me. Is this legal, and what options do I have about my privacy? I feel really disrespected by what is going on and think that the other employees should know only on a need to know basis.

Asked on March 6, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Kentucky


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you don't seem to have a case. There is no right to privacy in the workplace; disclosure of a medical condition by your employer to co-workers breaks no law. The fact is that a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit (absent some form of actionable discrimination which does not seem to apply here). Therefore, unless this action violates the terms ofe a union agreemnt or employment contract, you have no claim here.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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