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Announcement of Birth of a Child

Can a company publicly announce the birth of a child? Or is this a violation of the employee’s HIPPA rights? I used to work for an organization where the HR team never published those announcements because they felt it did violate the employee’s right to privacy. I’m now at a company who publishes birth announcements in their monthly newsletter. Which is correct?

HIPAA’s Privacy Rule covers protected health information employers obtain about employees through a health care plan or provider. For example, the employee’s physician informed the employer of the employee’s childbirth.

The regulations don’t extend to internally obtained information like if the employee disclosed the information directly to the employer.

Some companies, like your previous employer, choose not to recognize such special events for various reasons such as to protect employees’ privacy and to avoid allegations of discrimination.

Many companies still publish employees’ special events such as births and birthdays as a special way to acknowledge and congratulate them. Before announcing any personal or health-related information, best practice is for the employer to obtain consent from the employee.


This entry was posted on Thursday, May 25th, 2017 at 3:33 pm and is filed under
Human Resources Management.
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