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RobertJDFL, Attorney
Category: Legal
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unemployment benefits- hospital fighting it, for 3 techs discussing

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unemployment benefits- hospital fighting it, for 3 techs discussing case w/ no identifiers noted, that no-body outside of care would figure out who it was. Hearing for unemployment tomorrow, fighting it for principle, only one tech terminated but has received another full time position. Liked to know of any key arguements to make.
Thank you for your question.

Under Colorado unemployment law, an individual whose employer fires them for gross misconduct is disqualified from receiving unemployment insurance. Colorado defines gross misconduct as negligence, harm or the willful disregard of the employer's interests in such a way that demonstrates the employee's guilt or wrongful intent.

Without seeing any documentation, I cannot obviously say for certain what they are arguing, but it would seem the employer is going to say that the techs discussing the information committed gross misconduct through their intentional, or at least negligent, HIPAA violation. Obviously, the hospital is trying to cover their butts by terminating you because a HIPAA violation can expose them to significant fines if reported.

Therefore, the argument has to be made that this was not gross misconduct, because there was no violation. You can stipulate to the fact that had you revealed any identifying factors, yes, this would have been a HIPAA violation and therefore gross misconduct, but in the absence of such, there is no violation, and therefore no gross misconduct.

Does what I am saying make sense to you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, this makes perfect sense.There are cases discussed in cafe daily, by multiple different people. Hospital does not educate of reprimand until this episode, can lack of consistency be brought up.Also a documented Hipaa infraction against a manager, and reported to JACHO, then covered up by HR director, with documentation available from person who reported it-could that be brought up as an example of non-consistency & example set in the hospital ? Also- I, as an employee had confidential info compromised,which I felt uncomfortable about, but did not act on it, due to it would jeopardize my employment & it was a typical set standard by this particular hospital . I'm asking if tit for tat & the standard example set by hosp & lack of education on hospital part, & inconsistencies of discipline, may be used in unemployment hearing? You are correct in hospital covering butt though

Thank you for your reply. It's up to the person conducting the hearing how much they will allow in, certainly though I would bring up that cases are openly discussed in the cafe on a daily basis and no one is ever reprimanded and/or policy has never been followed. Then as proof, offer the incident of the documented HIPAA infraction and that this person was not terminated.
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