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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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I was out disability claim earlier this year abuse, should

Customer Question

I was out for a disability claim earlier this year for substance abuse, should my HR person have been able to tell anyone why I was out? If not, is there anything that I can do about her telling people?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for using JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. To the extent that your issue is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) you could have a complaint that you could lodge with the US Department of Justice. Your employer has a responsibility to keep disability information private. There's a process on how to file an ADA complaint at this page: http://www.ada.gov/filing_complaint.htm

Aside from that, there's no general "right of privacy", although decency usually dictates that individuals with access to this information not disclose it. I agree that it's unethical and immoral to disclose it, but it would have to be a disability as defined in the ADA for it to actually be illegal (as that specific law makes the disclosure of such illegal). An individual with a disability is defined by the ADA as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. Often substance abuse issues are classified as such, and that's why filing a complaint could be a good idea.

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (good or better). Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

Are you there? Please note that I am still here, awaiting your response or rating... (please note that rating closes this question out, so if there's nothing else, please rate it so that I can assist other customers that are waiting for answers to their questions)

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

Should I continue to await your response, or may I assist the other customers that are waiting?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I guess I was looking for a more definitive answer to my question as to whether HR should have been able to reveal the reason I was out. I feel like the information that was provided was something I had already found out on the internet. Like can I sue for HIPAA violations, or is there another avenue that could be pursued.
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

HIPAA is not an option (which is why I didn't mention it, and I would have if you had brought it up). HIPAA applies only to health care providers, not your employer. Your employer is not bound at all by HIPAA. IF there were other avenues (including state law remedies) I would have brought them up. I didn't because there are not. But most of the time people are not covered by any law. The ADA does applies and does protect when there is a disability. Often when someone has some medical issue, NO law applies as most medical issues are not properly defined as disabilities.

Again, I know this is probably not what you wanted to hear, but it is the law, and I can only answer based upon what the law is. I hope that clears things up anyway. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (good or better). Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

Was there anything else?

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

Should I continue to await your response, or may I assist the other customers that are waiting?

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