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Employees Confidentiality in the Workplace Essay

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Updated: Feb 9th, 2022

Confidentiality issues and compliance with codes of behavior are essential in any workplace. Every worker has the right to non-disclosure of private information. The privacy of the medical records of employees guarantees a safe and comfortable working environment. There are acts and rules, for example, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act that help employers handle privacy issues. This essay dwells on the analysis of the situation of an employee’s unfair treatment. It also covers the actions displayed by the manager and their comparison to the leader’s actions.

Medical records are kept confidential because of the nature of the contained information. It includes worker’s medical history, laboratory test results, and medication prescribed (“Medical Privacy. Workplace Fairness”, n.d.). The underlying legal principle that employers follow is an obligation not to disclose any health information without a serious reason or worker’s authorization. Therefore, the situation that happened at the Home Health Care Agency requires a reconsideration of confidentiality and human resources management policies.

Sarah’s case could be handled differently to avoid isolation and stressful consequences. First of all, according to the Code of Medical Ethics, physician’s health or wellness should not be compromised to ensure the effectiveness of medical care (“Physician health and wellness”, n.d.). Hence, there should be guidelines for the medical worker on how to act when he or she feels sick. Moreover, there is a collective obligation of staff to take care of each other, help and provide advice if someone’s health is compromised. It is underlined that Sara had been coughing for six weeks, time enough to enact preventive measures. The manager has to guarantee that guidelines are coherent and available for everyone.

Sara missed much work, which caused isolation and stress in the workplace. The manager’s role was to follow up on the worker’s wellbeing in case of a long absence. Besides, the Human Resources (HR) department did not provide employees with a feedback form to report on incompetent or unethical behavior by colleagues (“The top 10 ethical issues medical students should be taught”, 2020). Alternatively, Sarah’s co-workers could have been informed of her absence without disclosing her health condition. All in all, Sarah’s case should have been handled in cooperation between the manager and the HR department to avoid misunderstanding.

Disclosure of personal medical information has undermined Sarah’s professional confidence. It has also worsened the relationship between employees that resulted in the deterioration of their work quality. It is clear that the manager has missed several crucial strategic points. There were no prevention measures to help Sarah react to her health problems quicker. In addition, the HR department did not follow their confidentiality policies or, perhaps, some of the HR managers neglected them. The manager did not check if there were feedback forms or instructions to report on unethical behavior. Finally, there was no psychological support offered to Sarah once she got back to work.

In contrast, the leader of the Home Health Care Agency would act differently. His primary responsibility is to establish links between the HR department, employees, and senior managers. Secondly, all the employees should be informed about the codes of ethical behavior when they start working at the agency. The HR department should organize regular training on the updates and sensitive issues that emerge in the workplace. Finally, HR managers and employees should know that penalties will follow if they infringe on the code or other related rules.

References

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1. IvyPanda. "Employees Confidentiality in the Workplace." February 9, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/employees-confidentiality-in-the-workplace/.


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IvyPanda. "Employees Confidentiality in the Workplace." February 9, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/employees-confidentiality-in-the-workplace/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Employees Confidentiality in the Workplace." February 9, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/employees-confidentiality-in-the-workplace/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Employees Confidentiality in the Workplace'. 9 February.

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