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Response to Dustlawyer (Original post)

Wed Jul 8, 2020, 08:58 AM

17. This is going to be a giant clusterfuck in work places all over America

HR departments are in way over their heads trying to figure out what to do with this.

Something similar has happened at my wife's work and the employees are in revolt. The policies have been shifting all over the place.

At first they weren't going to tell anyone.

Then they decided to tell people who had identified vulnerabilities which is even worse HIPAA problem in my mind. This would require vulnerable people to disclose sensitive information to their employers in order to be included in the notification. Can you imagine having to tell your ultra-Christian boss that you were HIV+ just to try and protect yourself?

Finally, after the cat was out of the bag, they finally told everyone but would not identify who. So no one could tell whether they had been in contact with the person or not.

And all of this even assumes that the employee notifies HR. There is going to be a perverse financial incentive to hide illness/positive when it directly impacts someone's ability to earn a wage. It goes back to that old problem of not having enough support for paid sick leave because it isn't only for the sick person that we want them to stay home.

Individual responsibility is a whole separate issue here. If I was positive, I would waive my right to privacy because people deserve to know.

And this is only the summer time. We haven't even gotten to the busy times of the year where schools attempt to reopen and colleges convene.

What a mess.

And to answer your question, yes, HIPAA needs adjustment to account for the well being of others around you. It is the age old story of personal rights being limited when they can harm others.

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