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"One of our employees is Covid positive. Can we notify our workers about this"?

I was asked this question several times lately, by my (Israeli) clients.

So my short answer is: Yes, if the employee agreed.

And the long answer is: yes (even without his consent) - if you do it right.

And here's how -

First - take into consideration, that you are dealing with sensitive information.

According to the Israeli Privacy Law, any information, relating to a person’s health, is considered "intimate" and any (unpermitted) disclosed of such information is an infringement of the Law, and may have criminal and/or civil consequences.

Nevertheless, the Law identifies certain circumstances, in which such disclosure of intimate information may be regarded as lawful. One of them is: if “the infringer had a legal, moral, social or professional obligation" to disclose the information. Another is: if the said exposure was “of public interest”.

The Israeli Privacy Protection Authority has indicated lately, that notifying employees that a fellow-employee was found to be covid-positive, falls in these categories, if such notification was done in order to prevent further infections - and in good faith.

But don’t click “Send” yet – there are two more issues you need to

verify, before notifying your employees. Ask yourself:

(a) are you about to expose any information which is not strictly relevant for the purpose? for example: Is it absolutely necessary to mention the employees name? sometimes it’s enough to announce, that “anyone which was present at the office, between 08:00 and 17:00 on January 1 may have been exposed to Covid-19, and should be checked”, and

(b) who are you intending to share the intimate information with? only employees, which were possibly exposed to the Covid-Positive employee, or

have another close connection with purpose of the disclosure, should be notified of the above.


The information herein is not to be considered as legal advice. You should not act or rely on any information herein without first consulting with an attorney

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