Don't HR Alone #54 - Communicating Medical Conditions, I-9's and H1-B's, New Illinois Di

Communicating Medical Conditions

Question: I have an employee who recently told me she has a medical condition that is causing her to miss time from work. I don’t want the employee’s job to become jeopardized due to frequent absences, but I’m not sure how to convey her medical condition to the management team to ensure the employee doesn’t get penalized. What should I do? Answer: Your concern for your employee’s frequent absence is understandable, but her medical condition is protected health information and therefore must not be shared with management. An employee’s protected medical information may be revealed only to:

  • Safety and first aid workers if necessary to treat the employee.

  • The employee’s supervisor only if the employee’s disability requires restricted duties or a reasonable accommodation.

  • Government officials as required by law.

  • Insurance companies for the purpose of workers’ compensation claims.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) imposes strict rules for handling information obtained through medical examinations and inquiries or through the reasonable accommodati