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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 37639
Experience:  30+ years legal experience and I keep current in Employment Law through regular continuing education.
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I have been suspended for 3 days for posting a picture of a

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I have been suspended for 3 days for posting a picture of a former patient of mine in the nicu that the mother took, shared with me and gave me permission to post. She was discharged from our facility 6 weeks ago. I listed only her first name. I did not get written permission before posting as that she was no longer a patient in the hospital. Are these fair grounds for suspension? Is this a true hipaa fiolation? Should I seek the support of a local attorney?
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: west virginia
JA: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?
Customer: full time
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The parents have offered to provide a letter of consent. Both of which are physicians.

Good afternoon,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. I have been a licensed attorney for more than 3 decades, and I handle employment law. I am also quite familiar with HIPAA as it relates to hospitals and clinics.

The posting of the name (first, last or otherwise) of the patient, without specific permission to do so---even if the patient approved the posting of the photo, was technical HIPAA violation.

I would have to say that the inconsequential nature of the violation really did not justify the suspension, but the employer is within its right to discipline even for the most minor of HIPAA infractions. I have represented nurses before in battles with hospitals, and my own wife is a floor nurse at a hospital. I do not see any cause of action that you have arising out of this incident and therefore you are really not in need of an attorney at this point in time.

What you should probably do though is to get the letter of consent from the physicians and ask that it be placed in your personnel file because it certainly lessens the appearance of the "violation" and may be important in your future career to have the proof that you were given permission to post by the patient them self.

You may reply back to me again if you have additional questions, and I will continue to assist you.

I am not an employee of this site and I am only paid for helping you when you rate my service to you. Please remember to rate my service to you by clicking on the rating stars on your screen (preferably 5-Stars) so that I can be compensated for helping you. Thank you in advance.

I wish you and yours well in 2017,


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Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Define specific permission please.


There is nothing special about the term "specific permission". I intended simply the everyday meaning. You had permission to post a photo. You also needed permission to post a name with the photo or a technical HIPAA violation occurred. That was what I was getting at.

Thank you for your positive rating of my service. It has been my pleasure to assist you and I hope that you will ask for me on JustAnswer should a future need ever arise. I am generally available at least 6 days a week, and often 7, and it would be my privilege to assist you again in the future.

I welcome you to request my assistance in any future legal questions you may have, by simply asking for me by name, Doug, in the first sentence of your new question.

Thanks again.