Invasion of Privacy at Penn State?


A number of Penn State employees are protesting a new requirement to provide personal health data to a private company or be fined by the school. “For me, discussing my reproductive plans with an unknown entity at an insurance company does not constitute private” a faculty member stated in a NY Times report.

Although the “Wellness” plan is promoted as means to reduce health care cost for the university, now there is an organized protest since each employee who fails to provide the data can be fined $1,200/year ($100 per month) and a separate $1,200/year ($100 a month) “if a spouse or domestic partner with the option of health coverage through his or her own employer chooses to be on the employee’s Penn State plan instead.”

Each employee is required to complete a questionnaire which is submitted to Highmark Health Services through WebMD Health Services which:

...asks whether employees have recently had problems with a supervisor, a separation or a divorce, their finances or a fear of job loss; another question asks female employees whether they plan to become pregnant over the next year.

Even if HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) privacy is being protected by Highmark and WebMD, the mandatory personal questions create a vexing privacy issue for Penn State employees.

The publications contained in this site do not constitute legal advice. Legal advice can only be given with knowledge of the client's specific facts. By putting these publications on our website we do not intend to create a lawyer-client relationship with the user. Materials may not reflect the most current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. This information should in no way be taken as an indication of future results.

Search Tips:

You may use the wildcard symbol (*) as a root expander.  A search for "anti*" will find not only "anti", but also "anti-trust", "antique", etc.

Entering two terms together in a search field will behave as though an "OR" is being used.  For example, entering "Antique Motorcars" as a Client Name search will find results with either word in the Client Name.


AND and OR may be used in a search.  Note: they must be capitalized, e.g., "Project AND Finance." 

The + and - sign operators may be used.  The + sign indicates that the term immediately following is required, while the - sign indicates to omit results that contain that term. E.g., "+real -estate" says results must have "real" but not "estate".

To perform an exact phrase search, surround your search phrase with quotation marks.  For example, "Project Finance".

Searches are not case sensitive.

back to top