Houston Associate Rufino Gaytán was quoted in a Houston Business Journal article discussing actions Texas employers may take to try to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace as businesses reopen. Gaytán spoke to the balance between notifying employees if a colleague contracts COVID-19 and ensuring the infected employee’s privacy is protected. He noted it may be possible for co-workers to figure out who contracted the virus, but that possibility does not pose any legal obstacles for an employer, provided the employer neither discloses nor confirms the ill employee’s identity.
"The possibility that employees may realize which co-worker is ill does not relieve the employer from its duty to maintain the confidentiality of the employee’s identity, both under the (Americans with Disabilities Act) and any applicable state-specific privacy laws," Gaytán said.
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