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  • Slander Missouri

    Is announcing results of medical testing to all company personel a slander issue? Somewhere I assume that it would be a Medical Privacy issue. what can be done? please help

  • #2
    Slander is a generic type of law not specific to labor law. If (for example) I went around telling people you had leprosy, and you did not, then you have the start of a possible slander action. My being your employer or my not being your employer per se does not affect the slander laws. However, under slander laws, if I say (for example) that you have leprosy, and you really do have that disease, then there is no slander, because I would be telling the truth.

    Employers however are subject to additional laws. There is a chance under the ADA law that if (for example) you really had leprosy, and I (as your employer) said you had leprosy, there is a really good chance that I (as your employer) violated the ADA law (but not the slander laws).

    This sort of thing is very detail specific and you did not provide enough information to give a good answer.
    - Was your employer telling the truth?
    - Did your employer release information about your medical condition?
    - Are the tests even related to a medical condition?

    The type of medical condition can really make a difference. The lack of a medical condition makes a huge difference. I cannot say for sure that drug testing (for example) is NOT legally protected, but my weak understanding is that is at best a function of state law. I have worked for employers that drug tested employees, fired employees for failing drug tested and made the reasons for the terminations known. To my knowledge (which is pretty good), this employer never paid any wrongful termination settlements to these employees. (All settlements and payments to lawyers crossed my desk).
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      It can also make a difference how the employer obtained the information and who he told.
      The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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      • #4
        it was a lie and not true, provable through doctors, of a urine test that came back positive, there was no drug use, but it was announded throughout the company. So it was a lie. I dont understand how personel files can be showed to everyone. the person is still working for the company.

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        • #5
          Lies means slander is a possible as well as some type of tort action. Have you had a chance to read the article on slander that I cited earlier?

          The key is that you are not really talking about labor law per se. You are talking about general laws that would be equally applicable to non-employers.

          The one thing I do not understand is that if the employer is lying, how does the personnel file come into play? I can say that there is no general confidentiality rule associated with personnal files, although specific sorts of information possibly found in personnel files might be legally confidential.
          Last edited by DAW; 08-06-2009, 01:53 PM.
          "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
          Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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