Q: Employer in MA wants to send temp. employees out to get DOT physical exams/certifications. I interpret this as a Hipaa

violation at the very least, since these are employees of staffing agencies, who are the real "covered entities" here. They supply the WC insurance, payroll, are the holders of their personnel records, etc. They also almost all have provisions written into their contracts that state employers shouldn't let these temps even drive company vehicles. Am I wrong in wanting to tell him we really just should not do this? Thank you.

1 Lawyer Answer
J. Heath Dillon
J. Heath Dillon
Answered

A: The employer can communicate directly with the temp employment agency that supplied the employees of the employer's requirement that the temp employees obtain and pass a DOT physical. It is, likely, not appropriate for the employer to communicate this need directly to contracted employees without first coordinating with the temp agency. Otherwise, it is not a violation of HIPAA for the employer to require such a DOT physical of contract, temp employees or that he insist that results of this physical be shared with the employer, if this is a condition or requirement of employment.

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