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Tuesday, March 19, 2024


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COVID-Inoculation Requirement Did Not Violate Confidentiality of Medical Information Act—C.A.


By a MetNews Staff Writer


A company that fired an employee for violating its mandatory inoculation rule during the COVID pandemic did not violate the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act by insisting on proof of vaccination status, Div. One of the First District Court of Appeal declared yesterday.

The opinion by Justice Kathleen Banke affirms a summary judgment granted by Alameda Superior Court Judge Jenna Whitman in favor of the employer, Unchained Labs (“UL”).

Plaintiff Robert W. Porporato relied upon Civil Code §56.20(b) which provides:

“No employee shall be discriminated against in terms or conditions of employment due to that employee’s refusal to sign an authorization under this part. However, nothing in this section shall prohibit an employer from taking such action as is necessary in the absence of medical information due to an employee’s refusal to sign an authorization under this part.”

Banke wrote:

“It is undisputed that Porporato was not presented with, nor asked to sign, any ‘authorization’ for the release of his medical records from any health care provider. He maintains he was effectively asked to do so, however, because he was required to provide proof of compliance with UL’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.”

She responded that the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act “is directed at requests made by third parties to health care providers or to employers for copies of a patient’s or employee’s medical records,” adding:

“The Act is not directed at, and does not control, the choice—to disclose or not to disclose—made by the person whose medical information is sought.”

The jurist noted that the Fair Employment and Housing Act requires exemptions from a mandatory vaccination policy based on religious or medical reasons and said the UL policy was in conformity with that requirement. Porporato, in opposing summary judgment, did not claim entitlement to an exemption.

The case is Porporato v. Unchained Labs, A167144.


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