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Should Employers Know Details of Employees' Medical Treatments: Vote Now

Tim Armstrong's rant about sick babies brings to the fore the thorny question of whether employers should know about employees' medical issues.

AOL chief Tim Armstrong's comments over the weekend about paying out millions in health insurance expenses for employees with sick babies brings up a plethora of questions for any business owner.

When Armstrong mentioned specifics about his employees' health situations, it gave many pause and naturally forced people to ponder: Just how much do employers know about workers' private health matters? And although many would argue (as we did) that Armstrong should not have uttered a word about his employees' health troubles, another question is, Should he be privy to this information at all?

If you're a business owner who offers employees health insurance as part of their compensation, part of their cost of coverage falls to you. So it's possibly your right to know if costs are rising and why. But that doesn't mean it's not also a potential violation of employees' privacy. In the end, should you really know if Jim in accounts payable is getting a root canal? And if you do know that Debbi the mail clerk has diabetes and is driving up coverage costs, will you treat her differently?

Obviously, intelligent people will disagree. But if you had to come down one way or the other, what would your take be? Please vote on the answer below that best captures your viewpoint on employees' health care information.

IMAGE: Getty Images
Last updated: Feb 11, 2014

DIANA RANSOM | Features Editor

Diana Ransom is features editor at Inc. She has been covering the never-dull world of small business and entrepreneurship for years at a variety of publications including The Wall Street Journal,, the New York Daily News, Fast Company magazine and Entrepreneur. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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