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JackJD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 535
Experience:  I've been in practice 30+ years, concentrating on employment law for 15 years. I enjoy helping people.
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I feel my supervisor has violated a ppa privacy. I told her

Customer Question

I feel my supervisor has violated a Hippa privacy. I told her a situation to her regarding a medical issues concerning my husband illness.
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. Unfortunately, HIPAA does not apply to employers, but only "covered entities", so unless your employer is in the healthcare business, the disclosure of your medical records without your consent would not be a violation of HIPAA because your employer would not be bound by HIPAA. Normally, an employer will only deal with covered entities, not actually be one. However, if an employer has any kind of health clinic operations available to employees, or provides a self-insured health plan for employees, or acts as the intermediary between its employees and health care providers, it will find itself handling the kind of PHI that is protected by the HIPAA privacy rule.

The HIPAA privacy rule applies to health plans, health care clearinghouses, and health care providers. It applies to employers only to the extent that they somehow operate in one or more of those capacities. The same standards apply to covered entities in both the public and private sectors. But it doesn't apply to employers.

I know this is probably not what you wanted to hear, but it is the law. 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 my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
you're telling me that my supervisor can go through out the building telling everyone about what I told her. My husband is terminally. Every one knows he is sick . But no one knew major things. I don't Agee with U. Answer where is the privacy. No I don't accept this answer.
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

I know HIPAA and what it applies to. I understand that your employer violated your privacy, but as it stands there is no law that makes this information private. HIPAA applies only to medical providers and insurers. Here's the actual law: §164.104 Applicability.

(a) Except as otherwise provided, the standards, requirements, and implementation specifications adopted under this part apply to the following entities:

(1) A health plan.

(2) A health care clearinghouse.

(3) A health care provider who transmits any health information in electronic form in connection with a transaction covered by this subchapter.

(b) Where provided, the standards, requirements, and implementation specifications adopted under this part apply to a business associate.

[68 FR 8375, Feb. 20, 2003]

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

"Business associate" is someone that works with the provider (i.e. a lab, or accountant, lawyer, etc... of the medical provider).

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

So while I completely agree with you that this is incredibly unethical, immoral, and just "wrong", it's not illegal. HIPAA does not apply. Now if you had a disability (not your husband) then you would be protected by ADA privacy requirements. Aside from that, there is no "right to privacy" on these matters, although it is implicit in human decency (which the person apparently does not have).

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

As you can see, I have shown you the law, and while I understand that it's not what you wanted to hear, it is the law. If it were any different I would gladly tell you. But otherwise, please don't "shoot the messenger" here, in that I don't have any control over what the law is. I can only tell you what it is and how it applies to your situation (or not, as the case may be).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what your saying is that employees have no rights . Supervisor has theright to go around the office and telling anyone who listening. But I accidentally call resident name.
Im violating the residents .So what u r basically saying is employees have no rights
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

Essentially. Georgia is an "at will" employment state. At-will employment means that without a contract, you have no contractual or other right to employment with the company. The company is entitled to fire you for any reason: a good reason, a poor reason, or no reason at all--as long as the company does not fire you for an illegal reason (race, gender, age, religion, etc...). But it extends beyond firing, to hiring, promotions, demotions, wage cuts and raises, disciplinary actions, and even scheduling. Unless you can show that this was done in violation of a contract, union agreement, or a clear violation of an unambiguous and binding clause against the employer, or that it was done because of some minority status (age, race, gender, religion, disability) that you have, then they do have this discretion.

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

So while it's possible that there could be rights, it would only be indirectly, in that the intent of the supervisor would need to be discriminatory (targeting you based upon your race, age, religion, gender, or your disability).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't need to pay more money for nothing.
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

In other words, your rights are to be free from discrimination and harassment based upon those factors.

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry?

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

I understand that this is not what you wanted to hear, but it is the law. It is a correct answer to your question, backed up with actual citations to the law. So can you tell me how I did not answer your question?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My rating is I pay for nothing. I never said u didn't answer my questions. The laws need changing . Basically what u telling me is that a supervisor can harass and bully and employer and there is nothing can be done..So basically this a modern slavery. Wow 2015.
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that you feel that you should only pay for an answer that you're "happy" with. I could tell you that your employer violated all sorts of rights, but that would be a wrong statement. I agree that this is horrible, but I would hope that you would want an accurate answer to your question more than a "feel good" one. That's what you were paying for, and you ultimately didn't credit me with. I will opt out of this question and request that it be closed. I do wish you the best of luck in this matter.

Expert:  JackJD replied 1 year ago.

Hello, it's now two and a half days later; I have reviewed ScottyMac's answer and it is precisely correct.

It doesn't look to me like you're paying for nothing -- you are paying to learn that you would be wasting your time and energy if you tried to go after your supervisor legally.

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