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Confidentiality and privacy in human resources

â?¢Discuss the importance of confidentiality and privacy in setting up and maintaining human resource files.
â?¢Explain and discuss in detail the laws that impact records management, such as the American with Disabilities Act, HIPAA, and Privacy Act of 1974.

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confidentiality and privacy in setting up and maintaining human resource files: - this site contains the text of a speech given before Congress by a health care professional regarding expansion of the federal government's disclosure regulations regarding medical information, which has numerous aspects that concern employers, companies and businesses. It is interesting reading, especially in this era of HIPA privacy in medical information disclosures.
The article from the above site is copied and pasted here, as I found it to be an excellent resource, with numerous potential quotes you might want to use for any paper you might eventually have to write on this topic:

Workplace confidentiality: Persuade staff to 'think' privacy
Think about the amount of information and records that you maintain about employees. Now, think about the valuable information you possess about your clients and customers. Do you treat those two groups of data the same when it comes to confidentiality?
Employment attorneys warn that some employers aren't. They're taking a substantial risk by plowing more time and effort into protecting client information and shrugging off employee data privacy. One problem hindering the effort is lax supervisor attitudes about the importance of privacy.
The fact is confidentiality can quickly become a legal issue in many workplace decisions and activities. While certain employment-related data obviously must be protected, here are a couple more frequently overlooked employee data categories you should also protect:
Privacy during hiring
During the selection process, you should keep applications, interview notes and references under wraps. But other sources of confidential information exist beyond the personnel file.
With many organizations using 360-degree performance reviews and peer interviewing, managers and co-workers may stumble upon confidential information without knowing it. It's important to stop privacy leaks before they start. How? By teaching everyone involved to keep quiet about information that's shared in interviews and job reviews.
The hiring supervisor or HR should be the only ones who check references. And the results shouldn't be shared with others, especially subordinates , even if the employee helped in the interview process. Subordinates who are part of a search committee should be excused from the discussion when you develop hiring recommendations. Lastly, never allow outgoing employees to oversee the selection process for their replacements.
Privacy in health data
Consider the employee in drug rehab who returns from a leave of absence to find the details of his recovery had been announced at the office. Or say an employee talks over a private health issue with a co-worker only to find the secret spread to others.
Each of these scenarios carries potential legal hazards. When private medical information is disclosed, the employer opens itself to lawsuits under the ADA's confidentiality provision. (Employees don't need to be disabled to file such lawsuits, ...

Solution Summary

Various laws and regulations regarding employee, or human resources confidentiality and privacy