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A family member is in the hospital. Can my boss verify this is why I am absent?

Question Posted Saturday February 19 2011, 6:02 pm

say a family member of mine is in the hospital. and i had to miss a few days of work to be with her. could my employers call to see if she was a patient?

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adviceman49 answered Sunday February 20 2011, 10:59 am:
The hospitals should be following the HIPPA laws which state the patient must approve of any medical information released to anyone. This would include if they were or are a patient in the hospital. To do otherwise could cost them huge sums in fines and someone could go to jail.

There is the family leave act that could cover you here, depending how close this family member is to you. Some Companies do require that you exhaust your vacation & sick time before they approve FMLA time.

Then of course there is the question of why would your employer even want to verify if a family member is in the hospital. If you took vacation time off to be with them, so be it. That is part of what this time is for. If you took sick time because you did not have vacation time, that's another story and is at the discretion of the employers policies.

To answer your question directly, the answer could be yes and it might require the permission of your family member to release that information to them.

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Peeps answered Sunday February 20 2011, 8:35 am:
Some hospitals will disclose this information while others will not.

I lived in an area for awhile with two major hospitals. One on the hill. One across the river.

The one on the hill wouldn't disclose if a patient had been admitted or not.

The one across the river would tell you if so-and-so was a patient, what room they were in, and ask you if you wanted to be connected to talk to them. If a patient wanted, they did have the option to remain private and not disclose this information, but they absolutely had to express it or it was given out.

Additionally, the hospitals would also print admissions and releases from the hospital in the newspaper. From what I've gathered, this is pretty common practice. If you say, "She went in the hospital on Tuesday," and your local hospital does this, your employer would be able to look in the paper and see if she was listed.

The real question is if your employer will actually care enough to check. So many are so incredibly busy that they won't take the extra efforts to look into this. But, be warned, if they do and they suspect you've been lying you may be confronted about it when you return--and that might not the best situation.

Most employers require some sort of verification for these sorts of purposes, unless you take "sick" time or vacation time. You'd need to speak with your employer about forms or whatnot you'd need filled out and submitted.

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Sweet_LiL_Angel answered Saturday February 19 2011, 10:02 pm:
A friend of the family wasnt answering her phone and it had been two days. Her husbands phone was shut off and she wasnt in the greatest of health. I called the hospital asking if my grandmother had been admitted to the hospital and they told me and transfered me to her room. your boss may ask you to verify this info your self. a medical note etc.

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Xui answered Saturday February 19 2011, 7:21 pm:
No, That would be interfering with a patients privacy rights.

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