ZIP IT! – WHEN MANAGERS VIOLATE YOUR PRIVACY
This is not the first time we have written about managers who either can’t keep their mouth shut or their documents clean. The newest example is the Chief of Dental Services who just cost a VA hospital over $8,500 by ignoring an employee’s right to medical privacy.
This employee’s supervisor thought she did poor dental work on patients. When it came time to prepare her Proficiency Report, the Chief testified included in it the fact that she was receiving psychiatric care for major depression. He said he believed it was the only way to explain her poor performance and behavior to a reader.
The employee filed an EEO complaint charging a violation of her right to keep any medical facts she shared with her manager private, which is a right under the Rehabilitation Act. EEOC agreed and gave her not only $2,500 in damages, but also ordered the VA to pay over $6,000 in attorney fees. (See Daley v. Shinseki, DVA, EEOC Appeal No. 0120091580 (January 2012))
This is the third time FEDSMILL.com has written about an employee’s right to maintain the confidentiality of medical or disabling conditions under the Rehabilitation Act. If you want to see the other posts, just search on the word “ZIP.” If one of your union’s members is similarly harmed by release of medical facts she shared to get sick leave, FMLA or a reasonable accommodation, consider filing an EEO complaint like this one.