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Copying employees personel file

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  • Copying employees personel file

    I have been requested to make copies of a CA past employee's personel file including all payroll records, attendance, application, employee benefit forms, disciplinary action, medical records & workers compensation records for pick-up by a digital document retrieval company for a worker's comp appeals board sebpoena. I do not have an employee's authorization to release medical docs. Do I have to comply and if so, am I going against the past employees right to privacy?

  • #2
    This is with regards to a workers comp claim? EVEN IF you are subject to HIPAA (most employers are not), workers comp is expressly excluded from HIPAA.

    If the information has been subpoena'd, yes, you have to comply.
    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.


    • #3
      FYI---never assure ANY employee of complete confidentiality on ANY matter. You cannot make that guarantee.


      • #4
        Agree with cbg - you have to comply in this situation.
        Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

        Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.


        • #5
          I do have to say that, in my experience for many years as Custodian of Records, that attorneys in subpoenas often ask for "any and all records" and they're often also going on a fishing expedition. Call the attorney and see EXACTLY what he needs, especially if the deadline is near. If this is a long-term employee, collecting all this data could take hours and hours.

          And agree with Betty3 and cbg; this is a subpoena. You must comply or be in contempt of court.
          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


          • #6
            Thank you all. I feel much more comfortable releasing information now.


            • #7
              On a side note, I would have your employment counsel review the sdt and the personnel file. There are some documents that may be privileged and can legally be held back. Additionally, there may be some documents that need to have parts of them redacted. For example, if there is something in the personnel file that refers to other empoyees, you could be breaching the secondary employee's privacy.

              If it is a w/c claim and you have an attorney, have them review and respond on your behalf.


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