Under the Rehabilitation Act, medical information obtained in connection with the reasonable accommodation process must be kept confidential. This means that all medical information, including information about functional limitations and reasonable accommodation needs, that USDA obtains in connection with a request for reasonable accommodation must be kept in files separate from the individual’s personnel file. It also means that any USDA employee who obtains or receives such information is strictly bound by these confidentiality requirements. Confidentiality applies to all aspects of the reasonable accommodation process.
The Mission Area Designee will maintain custody of all medical records obtained or created during the process of a request for reasonable accommodation and will respond to all requests for disclosure of the records. All records will be maintained in accordance with the Privacy Act and information regarding these records, or any aspect of the process, may be disclosed only as follows:
Whenever information is disclosed, the individual disclosing it must inform the recipient of the confidentiality requirements as well as the requirement to comply with applicable provisions of the Privacy Act. For bargaining unit employees, information maintained by the agency may be disclosed to the Union having exclusive recognition in conjunction with representation functions related to the reasonable accommodation process.
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