Swine flu and privacy in the workplace

With swine flu on everybody’s mind right now (even leading President Obama’s news conference this evening), employers and employees should understand what questions can be asked and what information can be obtained from employees in the midst of apparent pandemic.  At the federal government’s pandemic flu website, the basic rules are set out.  In general, during a pandemic, employers may require employees to disclose whether they have been exposed to pandemic influenza.  Employers also may ask about exposures of the employee’s family members and associates.  However, once this information is gathered, it has to be used appropriately and maintained securely. 

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