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by Dr. Stimel, they were available by the simple means of obtaining a release from
Turner. As previously noted, appellant's [**53] standard application form had questions
relating to nervous conditions or mental disorders. Appellant failed to require an
application form to be filled out and conducted no interview with Turner concerning his
past medical history. Since the records were obtainable with Turner's consent, they were
not necessarily unavailable to the employer.
We do not agree with appellant's contention that in order for the records to be admissible,
it must first be shown that Turner would have signed a written release. n10 In a similar
vein, the Williams court noted that some courts hold the employer chargeable with
knowledge it could have obtained upon reasonable investigation, while others seem to
hold that an employer is only responsible for his actual prior knowledge. We agree, as 51 stated by the Williams court, that the latter view "appears to put a premium upon failing
to make any inquiry whatsoever." 386 So.2d at 1240. To adopt the argument made by
appellant would serve to insulate the employer from liability so long as he made no
inquiry and had no actual knowledge concerning an employee's mental instability. We
decline to adopt such a rule. As stated in Ponticas, 331 N.W.2d at 912-913 [**54]
although an employer will not be liable for failure to discover information that could have
been discovered by reasonable investigation, the issue is whether the employer
did make a reasonable investigation.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Footnotes- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - n10 The most obvious response to a refusal to sign a release, as explained by Professor
White, would be for the employer to refuse to hire the employee in a position in which
the employee's mental condition could present a threat to customers.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -End Footnotes- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Turning to the matter of Turner's juvenile records, a different question is presented.
Juvenile offense files are protected from disclosure and use as evidence by statute.
Section 39.12(5) and (7), F.S. Re...
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This note was uploaded on 09/30/2012 for the course ENC 102 taught by Professor Deria during the Spring '08 term at FIU.
- Spring '08