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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 112775
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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I was employed by the Western Maryland Health System located

Customer Question

I was employed by the Western Maryland Health System located in Cumberland, Maryland. I was recently terminated (July 5 2016 ) but to wit I actually terminated my employment. During the course of my employment there I was the subject of numerous false reports of failure to perform my job duties, threats to staff, delinquency in reporting back to the facility in a timely manner, all of which was either proven not factual or there were mitigating circumstances. I received a letter today (July 8 2016) barring me from all Hospital properties for the reasons of attempted retaliation for my termination and past abusive behavior while employed. Also stated in this letter was my report of a HIPPA violation and the results of an interior investigation revealed no violations and because I hadn't reported this earlier, due to fear of retaliation towards myself, this was an apparent retaliatory attempt on my part. I have a total of 5 times during my employment there to stop the false reporting being aimed towards me and the behavior never stopped. The supervisors that I met with can be named, just not sure if I should include them in this initial brief correspondence. If this means anything to verify the type of professionalism displayed by the WMHS, I can tell you the color of a Lab technicians pubic hair, as she discussed it with fellow employees while in my presence. The details of what I consider to be false allegations towards me can be discussed in detail if this matter has any merit.
Thank You
Larry C Reams
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 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.
Were you terminated for your age/race/sex/disability/national origin or in retaliation for you making a HIPAA complaint?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
not the HIPPA complaint. The actual termination as I was briefly told was due to an incident which occurred on Friday July 1, 2016 when my manager stated to me that I had not made a delivery. This meeting occurred around 1115 am. I informed my manager that I am not in the area of that delivery until 2pm. He claimed at the time that he was unaware of delivery times and thanked me for clearing the matter up. Later it was learned that a member from the lab made contact with what we refer to as purchasing and they ordered another driver to make the delivery and that driver complained to my manager. Then on Tuesday my manager made contact with me and stated that we had a meeting on 07/5/2016 at 2pm. When I asked why he stated from what we discussed on Friday and would give me no more information.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
This has been an ongoing issue....false allegations made against me forcing me to document with photographs and informing a confidant. I asked for 5 meeting and proved that all allegations were false or with other circumstances and I simply asked for it to stop. I feel that is the root cause of the termination.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
My complaint that this was a hostile work environment which seriously interfered with my job performance and also trickled over to my home life.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I know this may sound petty to many. But everyday going in there was like feeling of being constantly conspired against. I am glad I am gone because of the pressure that is lifted but this isn't right by any stretch of the imagination.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The letter barring me from Hospital property of a result of the HIPPA complaint
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 months ago.

Thank you for your reply.

The problem is that under the laws, the employee only has a right to sue for wrongful termination if they prove the termination was based ONLY on their age/race/sex/disability/national origin or in retaliation for them filing a statutory complaint. The US Supreme Court made it very clear that hostile work environment laws were designed to protect employees only for those reasons and the laws were not intended to create a code of civility in the workplace. See: Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, 523 U.S. 75 (1998).

So, your only other recourse if you cannot prove one of those reasons above as the only reason for this conduct towards you would be to prove that these people made known false statements about you and as a result of the known false statements you lost money. The suit would be for defamation and it would be against the individuals who made the known false statements, but not the employer.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
My grievance was more towards a hostile work environment while employed more than wrongful termination. The environment created from the false reports and the meetings with the managers providing no relief.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
It is not hostile work environment you can sue over unless it was for one of those reasons, which is what the US Supreme Court stated in the case I provided.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
my HIPPA violation report was not false. The letter stated that the investigation revealed no wrong doing and there fore it was seen as an attempt at retaliation and bared me from the Hospital. The letter also stated reasons of abusive behavior while employed. Do I have any recourse from that at all?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
You can file your HIPAA complaint to the US Department of Health and Human Services, they are the sole agency with enforcement authority under HIPAA.
However, your only recourse as I said above, would be suing the individuals who made the known false statements against you and caused these things to happen to you, based on the facts you are providing and the laws.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
understood...The letter states that if I make any further attempts at filing a HIPPA or damaging statements they will pursue any and all legal remedies against me
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 months ago.

Thank you for your reply.

IF the complaint is made during the statute of limitations and it is not false, then they really cannot take any successful legal action against you as you are protected from retaliation for making a valid complaint. However, if the statute of limitations for making a HIPAA complaint has passed, you can no longer file a complaint to the USDHHS.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Then there is nothing that protects me at all except for an individual defamation case?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 months ago.

Thank you for your reply.

Unfortunately, no, at will employment laws are very slanted towards the employer and not much in favor of the employee except for the reasons I specified above.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
they can go unfettered. very nice. Maybe we do tort reform, was never a big fan of that before today. Ok....I have some things to consider but wouldn't even know where to begin with a defamation case...I have witnesses, incidents, persons of contact...I guess start there...wow I have been a supervisor many times and during very stressful conditions and have never ever treated anyone like I was treated. The world is upside down and backwards my friend
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Actually "tort reform" is to limit or stop the number of lawsuits, not increase them.
If you want to pursue a defamation case against those who made known false statements against you, then you will need a local attorney to file the suit. So your first step is put your evidence of the known false statements together and bring them to the local attorney so they can prepare a suit with the proper facts. The attorney has to review the evidence to make sure it is sufficient to proceed to court.

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