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Should employers know medical histories?

Please consider the following statement:

â?¢Drug use is information that is rightfully private and only in exceptional cases can an employer claim a right to know about such use.
Post a response to the Discussion Board that either defends or opposes this statement.

Determine your stance on the issue of drug testing and employee drug use.

You may use the following questions to help outline your response:

â?¢Do employers always have a right to know about employee drug use?
â?¢What if the drug use has no effect on employee performance?
â?¢What if the drug use constitutes a serious health risk?
â?¢How would you (as a manager) address the issue of employee drug use?

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Solution Preview

The drugs that a person uses are a private matter. The enactment of federal medical privacy laws (HIPPA, among others) shows that the government is aware that a person's medical history is a private matter. This discussion involves legal, prescription and over-the-counter medications, not illegal or recreational drugs, which are another matter entirely. For instance, the medication Diflucan is a medication for fungal infections - infections which can be caused by the AIDS virus, but which same infections can be caused by normal hormonal fluctuations in both men and women. To read on a medical file that a person was prescribed Diflucan could easily be misinterpreted by a snooping, suspicious employer. The same thing is true of many other medications which are used to treat a variety of symptoms. Besides, whose business is it that I have a yeast infection? That is personally embarrassing, even if the infection was "naturally" caused, and not caused by AIDS or indiscriminate sexual activity. No employer needs to know that, since neither having that infection, nor the ...

Solution Summary

Opinion given why employers should NOT be provided with medical histories, with evidence and examples.