Confidentiality

Policy no. I-12
Effective date: 01/01/2008
Scope: faculty, staff and student employees


Defintions:

"Confidential Information" is defined as proprietary (owning or holding exclusive rights to something) or non-public oral and written information or machine readable information belonging to the university accessible to an employee through the course of their employment at the university.  Examples include: patient, financial, student, human resources/payroll records, legal documents and clinical data.

Policy Statement

Confidential information (verbal, written, or machine readable) is accessible to employees through the course of employment at the university, is proprietary or non-public information of the university, and is considered confidential. All confidential information should be maintained by all employees in a manner which ensures its privacy and safety.

During the course of employment, employees may have access to confidential information. Information should be solely used for the purposes of performing his/her various services for the university and for no other purpose. Employees should not use confidential information in any manner that is to the competitive advantage of, or otherwise adverse or detrimental to the university. Employees shall not disclose any confidential information related to university matters to any person who does not have a legitimate need to know. Employees should take all reasonable steps to protect confidential information from disclosure, e.g., password protecting computers and/or storing/filing confidential paperwork in a locked drawer, etc. Employees should not electronically forward or store confidential information so as to give access to those without a legitimate need to know. It is not appropriate to have discussions about confidential information in open areas (e.g. cafeteria, hallways, etc.) where individuals who do not have a need to know this information could overhear the conversation.

Employees who disclose confidential information to those without a legitimate need to know or who disclose confidential information observed or heard without proper authorization may be subject to corrective action up to and including termination.

If an employee overhears or observes another employee sharing or discussing confidential information in an inappropriate area, the Employee Relations Office or Integrity Hotline should be contacted. They are responsible for investigating the allegations.

University employees who violate this policy may be subject to corrective action up to and including termination.

Policy Administration: Joint responsibility of supervisor and Employee Relations Office

References: Non-Retaliation & Protection for Whistleblower (I-11), Positive Corrective Action (III-3)