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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 114041
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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I have fmla through fmla source and my company. I believe

Customer Question

I have fmla through fmla source and my company. I believe there is a hipaa violation. An employee called the fmla source 800 number and typed in my employee number and my zip code and was able to access my fmla. A union leader has also told me that they new how many times I called out from work and used my fmla. This to me is a complete violation of my privacy. NOBODY should have access to my FMLA information.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 8 months ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Nobody other than your employer should have access to your personal health information, that is what is protected by HIPAA, not your employment attendance record. Also, HIPAA only covers healthcare insurers and healthcare providers, not employers. So, if the company is a healthcare insurer or provider to you they have to keep your records of personal health information confidential. If they were able to access your personal health information regarding the nature of your illness and medical records, then you would have grounds to file a complaint with the US Department of Health and Human Services. The US DHHS is the only entity under law that has investigatory and enforcement power under HIPAA and HIPAA does not give an individual a right to sue. If the US DHHS finds that your personal health information was improperly accessed in violation of HIPPA then you can sue the union and employer and the company maintaining the records for breach of their duty of confidentiality of medical records.

So it would come down to what they actually accessed, if it was merely your attendance record and number of days used under FMLA, that is not personal health information protected under HIPAA.

If they are not a personal healthcare provider or insurer, then HIPAA does not apply and you would have to seek to pursue this under breach of duty of confidentiality and again, you have to prove they accessed more than just your attendance records and that there was no legitimate business need for them to have access to the information they accessed and if you prove that you can sue them all for invasion of privacy.