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What is the name of your state? FL

I'm the HR "specialist"(not manager) for a firm with +90 ee's. We have branches throughout the state. One of our branch secretaries has been complaining that there is an employee that has been spreading blood around in the bathroom. The branch office is far away from me, but she sends me pictures of the blood that she has allegedly found smeared in the restroom. She has an idea of who the culprit is. She thinks it is one of the employees that has repeatedly been very verbal about his medical problems. Supposively recently he's been having very bad hemorroids. Anyway, a memo had been sent out from me generally to all the ee's in that office regarding Health & Safety issues. The problem still continues. How can we approach the employees again without violating any privacy rights or getting into any legal problems with the employees?


Senior Member
The only privacy rights you need to be concerned about are those required by HIPAA and that only applies to information obtained through your health insurance plan, which obviously is not the case here. What you have though is a very significant health hazard via blood born pathogens and you need to do something about that. But you do not have any legal problems with the suspect employee in addressing this.

The appropriate person needs to meet privately with this employee, explain the problem that is occuring in the restroom and that it presents a very serious health concern and exposure to everyone working there. Additionally, this is being discussed with him in particular because he has been vocal about his medical problems and therefore it's possible that the blood in the restroom is a symptom of his present ailment. The next step is to tell the employee that for everyone's health and safety, the company needs to send his doctor a letter informing the doctor of problem that is occuring in the restroom and the company's concern about BBP's. Lastly, the doctor then will need to advise the employer via a note to the employee to bring into work whether his using a communal restroom at work poses any health risks to anyone.

Give the employee a short but reasonable time frame and don't rely upon the employee to inform his doctor of his employer's concerns. Get the doctor's name and address from the employee and write the doctor a letter explaining exactly what has been taking place and that you understand that this employee may be the cause, based on statements he's made about his medical problems. Express your concern about possible blood born pathogen exposures to other employees. The doc will have no problem understanding that.

You know, no day in HR is complete without a discussion of hemmorroid problems. Yowsa. :(


I'm a Northern Girl
Doncha just love it when everyone takes it for granted that this sort of thing is HR's problem?


Senior Member
At least it's not your usual B.O. situation. Given the possible BBP exposure, this one at least has some actual legitimacy for HR or Safety to be consulted.


I'm a Northern Girl
Yeah, but why does Safety have to fall within HR? In my mind, it's more of an Operations issue.

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