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The Law & You

Can Employers Disclose Identities of COVID-Positive Employees?

The Law & You
April 8, 2020

The Law and You

Can Employers Disclose Identities of COVID-Positive Employees?

Haley Bianco: It’s that time of the day for “The Law & You.” Joining us today at home with more free legal advice we have attorneys Greg Fellerman and Ed Ciarimboli. Nice to see you both again.

Ed Ciarimboli: Nice to see you. We hope everybody is washing their hands constantly.

Haley: Twenty seconds or more.

Ed: Twenty seconds or more, as much as you can.

Haley: Absolutely. Well, all of our questions this week are related to the coronavirus so let’s get to today’s. This comes from Jason in Kingston, he says, “Can an employer disclose the identity of an employee if they test positive for COVID-19?” What do you think?

Ed: So, right now, no they can not. What the employer is allowed to do if someone tests positive is they are allowed to inform everybody that is around, or that employee has come in contact with, they must inform those particular individuals that they have potentially been exposed to COVID. But they cannot release the identity of that particular person. All the new laws, all the new regulations, all the new acts, they have not done away with the confidentiality provision of the American’s Disability Act, the HIPAA act, or the Pennsylvania Confidentiality of Medical Information. But I want to kick it to the grave because this is changing, especially because what could potentially be under the Workers Compensation Act for them.

Greg Fellerman: Well, I think that a couple of things with the employers –we’ve seen this happen– people are testing locally and manufacturing plants, distribution centers and they have an obligation to let the employees know which I think is smart because people have to make the decision do they want to work, do they want to be exposed and subject that to their families. So, as this continues to develop, what’s going to happen with workers’ compensation is if it happened at work it then does it become a preventable claim? The answer is probably yes because and you may see some legislation that supports that proposition and hopefully these are mostly short term claims. We’re going to see because again, its fluid, very dynamic, everything is changing but you are seeing it happen that people are walking off their jobs. People are scared so hopefully, everything will catch up and it will get taken care of the right way.

Haley: Alright well thank you, Greg and Ed, so much for your time. We’ll see you tomorrow. If you at home have questions for the Law and You just go to

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