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legaleagle
legaleagle, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 13441
Experience:  Practicing Attorney for 10 years
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My company has a room-share travel policy. I have a medical

Customer Question

My company has a "room-share" travel policy. I have a medical condition and do not want it disclosed to my fellow employees or management for that matter. Is there a law that allows me to have a seperate room because sharing would force disclosure. Do I have to tell them my medical condition and/or provide my medical records? I would like a right to privacy perspective...
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for using JustAnswer!

The answer is "no" there is not such a law. If you want a separate room, your employer will likely advise you that you should be prepared to pay for it yourself.

Good luck and best wishes. I hope that you find this information to be helpful and this answer to be ACCEPTable!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
I would like to know a little more information regarding my rights to privacy on this issue.
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 7 years ago.
There is no legal requirement that the employer provide you with a separate/private room. If you wish to have a separate room, you have to be prepared to pay for it yourself and not expect the employer to.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Relist: Inaccurate answer.
I would like to know the MEDICAL DISCLOSURE ISSUE. I have genital herpes with frequent breakouts. This is extremely uncomfortable and painful. First of all knowing that I really wouldn't want to share a shower and toilet with someone I didn't know who had herpes for an entire week at a time I don't feel that it is right or healthy for someone else too. Second, when I do have breakouts I have a regimen that I have to do that is a little embarrassing. So you're telling me that I have no right to keep that private and my entire company has the right to know this. I travel for half of the month, the policy was not made known to me before I got hired.
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 7 years ago.
I do not believe that I ever indicated in any of my answers that you have to voluntarily disclose this to your employer. Rather, I've simply indicated that if you want a private room, you need to be prepared to pay for it yourself.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
With all due respect, you are not answering my question at all. I understand that if I want my own room just because it will come out of my pocket. I cannot afford to travel for the company and pay for my own hotel room. Sharing a room will FORCE ME TO DISCLOSE THIS CONDITION in certain instances. Being that it is the companies POLICY it is therefore the company that is forcing me to INVOLUNTARILY disclose my condition. If you are not familiar with medical privacy or disability discriminiation law please do not respond to my email anymore so that I can get another answer that is more helpful. I do not mean any disrespect or doubt that you are probably an amazing lawyer, but your answers are not touching on the area that I am looking for. Thank you for your time.
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 7 years ago.
The medical privacy protections of HIPAA doe not apply in the employment setting.

http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/employers.html
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
Thank you for the link, but HIPPA only applies to health care providers and an individual's privacy.
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 7 years ago.
That is precisely the point. No such privacy protections exist in the employment setting.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
Actually there is the Americans with Disabilities Act. PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT ANSWER MY QUESTION AGAIN. I WOULD LIKE ANOTHER OPINION.
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 7 years ago.
As you can see, two other experts have separately agreed with this Answer. The ADA does not apply in your situation for the facts you've described. Your concern is about personal privacy to avoid embarrassment. That is entirely understandable. However, the employer does not have an obligation to pay for a separate room for you.

I hope that you will reconsider and find this answer to be ACCEPTable even though it's information that you do not necessarily want to hear!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
You are seriously ridiculous. If you comment one more time on my post I am going to complain about you and your unprofessionalism. I would like a little more than a one sentence answer or some link to something that has nothing to do with my situation. What I don't want to hear is your opinion anymore. You are crazy if you think you are going to get my $28. For the last time... DO NOT CONTACT ME AGIAN!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
Expert:  legaleagle replied 7 years ago.

There are no laws that protect you based on the facts you have presented. Since your employer has a written policy that employees share a room when they travel you are required to abide by the employer's policy. If you want an exemption from that policy they may require you to disclose this reason and if it is medical there is no law that stops them from requiring you to disclose or forcing you to share if you will not disclose. You assume that your roommate would be aware of your condition if you shared but that is not a known fact so by forcing you to share there is no conclusion that this will force you to disclose because your roommate will be aware.

 

I could not find any case law that stated herpes is a disability covered by the ADA. But you could make that argument but to ask for a reasonable accommodation for a paid individual room you would have to disclose your disability to your employer.

legaleagle, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 13441
Experience: Practicing Attorney for 10 years
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