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RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 13864
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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Originally hired for day 12hr shifts. Posting of job position

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Originally hired for day 12hr shifts. Posting of job position states 8 and 12 hr shifts. My employer is trying to only change my hrs of work to be 4-8p during the week. I did not think a shift is 4 hrs unless descibed in job. The new postings for this dept. are listed as varied shifts and hours, my original job desription has not stated that and do I not have to agree to change hrs of work and sign a new job desription?
Also, stated health issues in private to the director of HR and then a couple weeks later sent via mail paper work for FMLA along with a sticky not stating," heard in staff meeting that you are having health issues, thought I would send paper work for you". Then I receive a e-mail couple weeks ago from HR stating " have not seen tour FMLA paper work yet". I feel this is a HIPPA violation, what do you think? Thanks Karen
Thank you for your question.

Unless you have an employment contract that states you are to work a set number of hours and/or a specific shift, you are considered an "at will" employee, and your employer may freely change the terms and conditions of your employment, and they do not need your consent or agreement to do so, unfortunately.

What you describe cannot be a HIPAA violation, as HIPAA laws only apply to medical providers, such as doctors and hospitals.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I do work at a hospital and I know that as employees we do not discuss others health issues so how is it okay for HR to discuss my health in a dept meeting without me going to them asking for the FMLA paper work.

Discussing your personal medical information with employees that are not in a position where such information is necessary could run afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act which requires medical records to be maintained separately and kept confidential. You said these records were discussed by HR. HR is often involved in things like approving sick leave, FMLA, etc. so (to play devil's advocate) there is an argument that this information was important for them to know.

Now, if the people who were made aware of this situation are not the ones who ultimately handle these matters or make decisions concerning things like FMLA (there would be no reason for them to have medical records for employees, in other words), then I would say you may have grounds for an invasion of privacy issue. That said, however, unless you have suffered some significant form of damages, it's not worth pursuing since legal fees and costs would cost you more than you could potentially recover.
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