Defining privacy in employee health screening cases: Ethical ramifications concerning the employee/employer relationship [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 13 (5):315 - 325 (1994)
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Issues of privacy and employee health screening rank as two of the most important ethical concerns organizations will face in the next five years. Despite the increasing numbers of social scientists researching personal privacy and the current focus on workplace privacy rights as one of the most dynamic areas of employment law, the concept of privacy remains relatively abstract. Understanding how the courts define privacy and use the expectation of privacy standards is paramount given the strategic importance of the law as a legal socializing agent. This article reports on two federal court decisions involving employer drug and HIV testing whose determinations relied on assumptions about the psychological dimensions of privacy. How the courts define privacy, the outcome of this definition and the ethical ramifications as it affects the employee/employer relationship are discussed.



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