Hello again and thank you for clarifying that information. No, the information that your coworker had, if from social media or a friend of a friend, would not be in the realm of being a HIPAA violation. Only information that is taken from medical records or medical providers and
only if the person has a duty not to disclose private medical information, would be a HIPAA issue. In this case, as I understand it, this person found out via social media, which is not privacy
protected and not a medical record. So, they did not do anything illegal per se by just knowing and making a statement. However,
if the employer made their decision not to reinstate you because of your pregnancy, then that would violate the Federal Pregnancy Discrimination
Act, which is a part of Title VII
of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
So, you have a couple of options here. One is to sit down with a local employment law
attorney to discuss this issue and the employer's reinstatement rules, to see if they think maybe if they wrote a letter to your employer they might reconsider their decision, and therefore avoid possible litigation. If they don't think that is the tactic that you can expect to work, then you could file suit for pregnancy discrimination, but will first need to file a formal discrimination complaint with the EEOC
. You can either wait for them to try to resolve the issue, or you can file suit after asking them for a "right to sue" letter.
If you have limited funds, you might want to file your complaint with the EEOC and see where their efforts to resolve this go before you consider filing suit. The EEOC route doesn't cost any money, but filing suit does.
Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.