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I'm new to the forum, and wasn't sure where to post this question.

I was diagnosed 3 days ago with genital herpes. I have been in severe pain, and its taking the medication awhile to do its job. I don't have health insurance, but my boss tells me to always bring in my medical bills and he pays them, along with my prescriptions. 3 days ago I asked him if I could make an appt the following day for a doctor... I said it was "female issues." I couldn't get an appt at my usual doctor, so he recommended his wife's doctor. I could only get an appt for 1:45 the next day. But that night I was in so much pain I almost went to the ER. The next day i couldn't wait til 1:45, so i went to Planned Parenthood.

The doctor was so nice, and gave me meds there, and a prescription for ointment. I asked her when writing up the bill, could they just put "general office visit" and "medications" without getting specific, b/c I don't feel comfortable with my boss knowing. One reason is because I just don't want ANYONE to know, the other reason is I work in an office with 5 guys, I'm the only girl, and my boss is best friends with 2 of the men. I don't want everyone to know.

She wasn't able to do the bill that way. It lists the exam, and the specific name of the med. She gave me a doctor's excuse for 2 days. I returned to work today but I was still in severe pain. My boss was not in, but my superior could see i was in pain and kept telling me to go home. So I took my work and left, to work from home.

My boss called me this evening and was demanding to know what was wrong with me. I told him I didn't feel comfortable telling him. He gave me a really hard time about it, and I felt like he was threatening my job. He told me if I don't want to tell him, then I better have a doctor's note saying what it is. Then he hung up on me. I later found out that before he even called me and asked me, he was badgering 2 of my coworkers to tell him what was wrong with me.

I am NOT comfortable with this. Do I have a right as an employee, to not have to tell him my medical condition? I have the dr. note, but it doesn't say why I was out. I'll give him the receipt, but not the bill. I'm really upset that he is so adamant to know. Does he have the right to know?

I would appreciate your input. thanks for being supportive in this tough time.

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he has absolutely no right to demand that you tell him. it is up to you to decide if you want to disclose that information, and it SHOULD NEVER affect your job because you don't want to disclose it.

if he chooses to put restrictions on your work or in any way reprimand you for this then you need to get a lawyer involved because it is not okay at all.

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get a lawyer immediately..he is way out of line. A good labor lawyer will be able to help you. Im not sure where you live but if it is anywhere near Boston Mass. I know a wonderful labor lawyer....just a shot in the dark :) but if you're not near there then there are plenty of good ones out there. Speak with your boss, tell him it is a private health issue and that he has no right to badger you and that if it continues, or he wants to make threats then you tell him you have consulted a labor lawyer (he doesnt have to know you havent called yet) and see where that gets you. good luck, be strong and dont let him or anyone else break you down!

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I'm in California and I don't know what the law is in Florida but I can't think that it is okay for an employer to nose around in your health information.

It is none of his business and if he threatens your job because of health issues I would bet that he can get into a lot of trouble. I would be very proactive in finding out what your legal standing is. Definitely consult with an attorney. Some even do free consultations. Don't wait - it is in your best interest to protect yourself.

You don't need to give your boss your medical invoice but maybe the clinic you went to would be willing to give you a receipt that is less specific that states that you had a visit on a particular day. I can't imagine that in 2007 any health provider wouldn't be aware of your right to confidentiality.

Is this also sexual harassment? Does he do this to the male employees when they are out ill or see a dr? Check out your rights before you blow up at him but please stand up for yourself and your right to privacy.

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if the employer is paying the bills> they might actually have a right to know.

you need to check into your emplyee handbook or whatever you have there and see if it mentions anything about this.

but unless the issue is affecting your work> then its really non of his buissness.

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That's infringement on the Medical Privacy Act, a national law. As payer of your bills his only right is to know that you had a legitimate reason for a doctor's visit and that what you had done wasn't extravagant. No person (regardless of age) is under any obligation to share with any outside party issues involving their health. The behavior he's displaying is text book harassment and you have every right to protect your medical privacy from him and are fully in a position to seek legal consul and restitution. However, I would keep in mind that people are naturally curious beings and perhaps he's not aware of how pushy he's being nor how uncomfortable it's making you. Because of such, I would suggest talking to him and reminding him of your medical rights, as well as, your right to privacy as an employee before getting a lawyer involved. Should he continue with his insensitive behavior, that's when the law should become involved; after all, I doubt you want to lose your job or deal with the lengthy process of dealing with the legal system, if it can be avoided.

Best of luck in sorting things out with him and in dealing with your new diagnosis. I'm sorry to hear of your badluck in catching it, but we're all here for you, should you need it.

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I appreciate everyone's responses. It has been enough of a headache just dealing with this new situation, and the physical pain is enough - i dont need this emotional pain as well.

Just a few notes about the company i work for...

We are a fairly new company. I was actually the second employee hired. There is no company handbook. There is no harrassment policy.

I could understand if by paying my bill, he wants to know what he is paying for. If that's what it comes down to, I'll just tell him not to bother paying. The visit and meds cost me $110. If I wasn't so broke at the moment, I wouldn't even care.

What bothers me the most is that he was badgering my coworkers to tell him, before he even asked me.

I work in the kind of place where I have never needed a doctor's note, and niether has anyone else. We are all straight commission, and we all have a very close working relationship. When I asked to make the appt, it was no problem at all. When I called off the following day, he didn't ask a single question. I made the attempt to go in on Friday, and my superior sent me home. Why NOW all of sudden is he so concerned? I even brought my work home with me.

It has me furious, and if he gives me a hard time about it when I go in on Monday, I'm definitely going to consult a lawyer. I'm the only female in my office, and if I don't want to discuss my female health issues with my male employer (and there is no Human Resources) then I'm not going to! I'll let him fire me and collect unemployment before I endure his badgering me.

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Your employer is dead wrong..

and he is opening himself up to all sorts of problems ...

1. If he persists in badgering you about it.

2. Actually violates your privacy by somehow obtaining your records.

3. Penalizes or fiires you for this.

I agree with the others that you should consult an employment attorney so you understand exactly your rights in this matter.

Don't take any crap..

Good luck!

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the story actually has a happy ending.

when i went to work yesterday, i was afraid my boss was going to give me a hard time. I was avoiding the entire issue. In the morning he sent me an email that said "$$$ Bring me your doctor bills for a check." I took the doctor's note, my credit card receipt for the office visit and for the prescription, and I gave them to him. He didn't say anything at all and later dropped a check on my desk. Then, after an hour-long meeting where he bitched at everyone except me, he sent me another email saying "If you need more money, time off, or anything, let me know. I need you at 1000%, you're the only one i can count on!" I thought that was REALLY nice of him.

His wife called me today and was very sympathetic and said "i know you dont feel comfortable talking to a guy about female problems, and i know you dont have family down here, so if you need to talk, please call me."

So everything worked out pretty well, just wanted to let everyone know. :)

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