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RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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Hello, I am asking for a friend . She works for a place

Resolved Question:

Hello,

I am asking for a friend . She works for a place that I never knew until this past week of actually what goes on behind the scenes . Its a non-profit , that works people as a sweat shop. Very sad about this. She said she has kept notes for four years about how they treat people and what actually takes place there.
What takes place there is a whole new question. But what happened today to her is she was off today and her co-worker text her and said her boss asked her to let her know her doctor had called .

I dont know much about law but boy did they cross the line with this.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for using Just Answer.

Do you know what the substance of the conversation was? Was the doctor just calling to let her know of an upcoming appointment, for example, or did they actually give her employer information about her condition/what is in her medical records?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

This was personal information


 

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.

I am working off the assumption then that your friend did not give her doctor permission to discuss her medical condition(s) with her employer. In that case, this could be considered a HIPAA violation. While there is no private cause of action for a HIPAA violation, your friend could file a HIPAA complaint with the Office of Civil Rights. If a violation is found to have occurred, the doctor's office can face a civil penalty (a fine) for disclosing the information.

Your friend may also have a private cause of action for invasion of privacy against the doctor's office. The trouble with bringing such a claim, however, is establishing what damages resulted from the doctor's actions. In other words - now that her employer knows about her medical condition(s) how did that effect her job? If she suffers some harm - a demotion, or termination for example - related to what the doctor revealed, then it could be said she incurred damages.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

what about diclosing to a co worker to call her coworker that a doctor has called . I have never heard of this happening


 

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Lets take this off the doctors hands and say how does an employer take a message from a doctors office for an employee and when the employee is off that day they give the message to a co worker of the employee to let her know that the doctor called.....is that illegal

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

This must confusing because I believe I have exposed very bad people.....where r u and where is my answer


 

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.

That's not illegal, no, or even grounds for a civil claim of any sort. If a doctor calls to for example, remind an employee of an upcoming visit, and the boss answers, and then tells another worker "Please tell Susan that her doctor called and to call her back", nothing about that is unlawful.

HIPAA laws only protect the disclosure of private information by a covered entity (such as a doctor) without the patient's consent. So a doctor couldn't call a job looking for Susan, and then when told she isn't there say "Oh, well, tell her we have her test results back, and she was right, it is cancer." Absent patient consent, disclosing something like that to another party would run afoul of HIPAA, but it isn't a criminal violation -only civil.
RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 10260
Experience: Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
RobertJDFL and 2 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

NC law ...states this is a civil violation and the related message was given to someone she does not know....


 


and she has many notes of violation of OSHA .....


 


 


they are abused


these people are abused...what do I do?


 


I have the opportunity to take up for folks that work for beans and are abused and watched like they are criminals...

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 10 months ago.
If the note from the doctor revealed confidential medical information, then that would be a HIPAA violation, as I mentioned earlier, and she could file a complaint (I provided a link to how she would file in a previous response, let me know if you don't see it).

If it's just a simple message that didn't reveal confidential information "Susan, you need to call your doctor, it's important", or something similar, that is not a criminal or civil violation.

The OSHA violations and other matters need to be addressed in a separate question, as your original question was solely related to the medical matter.

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