Recently (Jan.2012), I asked for a conference with my boss. I was having emotional, psychological and finanical problems and my work performance was suffering. I asked for a meeting because of these things and wanted ask for some time off. At this meeting, this principal shared with me some concerns that floored me. She said that many of the parents had complained about me and many wanted their children out my class. This was so hard to hear and unexpected, that I started crying and couldn't stop. I felt all was lost and told my principal and the two other people present( a vice principal and dept chairman) that I no longer wanted to live. I was inconsolable. The principal asked a secretary to come in and console me. This upset me more and I felt my privacy was being violated. To make the story shorter, I ended up going to emergency room and was subsequently diagonesd with major depression, anxiety and panic disorder. I have been in and out of outpatientin a mental hospital twice and made another trip to the emergency room since January. Recently my coworker had some discussion with my principal and she said to him concerning me, that she was waithing on personnel as to what to do with my position there--either hire a long term subsitture or a replacement. This incident like the invitation of the principle to bring in a secretary the day of that meeting was a violation of my privacy. Last week my sister took a phone call from someone claiming to be from the school said that they were calling becasue I needed to pick up my stuff I left at the school by a certain date of the school would dispose of it. They even mentioned my illness to the sister. When my sister asked who they were, they refused to give their name and said that I could call the principal if I had any questions. Again, I feel that this was a violation of my privacy. It also seems that I have lost my position at that school and I had to find oujt not from personnel but by a message from a caller who would not identify thermselves! What does the law say about this violation of my privacy?
State/Country relating to question: Maryland
Nothing but am thinking about filing a grievance with my union representative.
Under the law, HIPAA, it prevents "covered entities" from disclosing confidential personal health information. HIPAA defines a "covered entity" as any healthcare provider or any healthcare insurer. Missing from this definition is "employer." Thus, under law there is no legal prohibition under HIPAA from them disclosing any information about an employee's health and the courts have held that to mean that the employer cannot make a blanket disclosure, but has a right to disclose to those in the workplace who have a "legitimate business need" to know the information and that aside from that the employer has a duty to maintain confidentiality of personal healthcare information. Your conversation with the employer in the conference was not personal healthcare information I am afraid, so there was no legal duty of confidentiality imposed by statute. If the employer has disclosed information about your personal health information to those in the workplace who do not have a legitimate need to know (such as the unknown person who called) then you would have grounds to sue the employer for breach of the duty of confidentiality for releasing your personal health information without legitimate business reasons.Your first step here is the grievance with the union, as the union is supposed to be the sole bargaining agent with the employer and your first step in the grievance process for these matters.
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