Employment Law

Employment law questions? Ask an employment lawyer.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

This answer was rated:

I am on short term disability. my employer HR is requesting…

I am on short...

I am on short term disability. my employer HR is requesting that I send them progress reports from my MD in order to continued being paid. They are using a 3rd party insurance company (Mutual of Omaha) that I have filled out a MR release for for the one specific person. Can my HR employer demand that I give this medical progress info from my MD directly to them? I'm afraid of discrimination.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Illinois

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

I am employed full time.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Not at this time

Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
If They cannot demand my personal protected medical record info, under what law would this be protected under? This info is what I'd like to use as a defense if they demand again. The reason why I am worried about discrimination is because the premise of my short term disability is due to my supervisor & the manager threatening my job, creating a hostile work environment, sabotage by my supervisor & collusion with the manager. Retaliation in the form of being written up after going to HR & above the manager's head to "blow the whistle" on the unethical & unprofessional/borderline criminal treatment that I have been subjected to for the past 5 years. Being under this type of harassment/workplace bullying, it caused my body to break down both mentally & physically to the point my MD was afraid I would have a cardio vascular event. I am currently seeing 2 MD's and 2 therapists for the emotional trauma that I have incurred during this period. before switching my career to my current one, I was (& still am) a licensed Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant (inactive IL & FL License) trained in psycho-social rehabilitation & of patients with various diagnoses but specialized in depressive, anxiety and drug related disorders. During which I was not only trained but my job depended on knowing the signs of suicidal behavior. I was so buried & foggy from fighting the juggernaut of an issue at work that I, being a trained professional to identify, act & prevent suicidal behavior that I completely missed my own wife's needs as she slipped into major depression (partially because I was loosing myself due to work stress & "the fog of war" I was in from work) and my wife attempted suicide 2 years ago next week. 28 Xanax 1/2 a liter of 100 proof bourbon & 64 unisom sleeping pills ingested by a 135 lb. woman, the ER dr as well as the paramedics stated that it was a lethal combination. I was not home but was able to get her the help needed right away. I failed my wife and myself due to circumstances exacerbated by the constant discrimination, sabbotage, harassment/bullying & retaliation I endured almost daily for the past 5 years. I just don't know what to do but I want to protect myself as much as I can. Hence, needing this info to add to the mountain of documentation that I've been compiling over the past 5 years.Any info would be great.Thank you kindly,Joe Koszuta COTA\L
Answered in 17 hours by:
1/3/2018
John
John, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5,962
Experience: Exclusively practice labor and employment law.
Verified

When an employer administers its own insurance plan (i.e., is self-insured) they do have the right to administer the plan, which would include getting continuing medical information from a participant, such as yourself. However, under HIPAA and ADA they can only keep the medical information in a sperate file and with access only to the person(s) needing that information to administer the plan. In other words, the medical information should not be available to others that would generally have access to your personnel file, like your manager...it would only be available to those that administer the plan.

I believe this answers your question. However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation - simply reply to this answer. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as it is the only way I am able to get credit for my answers (even though the website already charged you, it does not credit me with the answer unless and until you indicate you are satisfied with the answer). If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. Thank you, ***** ***** wish you all the best with this matter.

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you.1) Can you please site the specific sections of both HIPAA & ADA that appies to my situation?
2) The only person who I've signed a release for information from my MD's is the case manager at Mutual of Omaha (which I am speculating is either a 3rd party verification service or they actually are paying out through a plan that my company is part of for Short term disability) & this has worked the past 2 progress reports but now, this person has not followed through on getting this info to my employer for which I am continuing to be unpaid. Basically, this Mutual of Omaha person legitimizes my disability & communicates this to my employer. he is bound by HIPAA to not divulge any details of my records (am I correct on this??) Is there any legal reason for my employer to fire me for not giving the HR benefits rep access to my progress reports directly for fear of retaliation if landing up in the wrong hands?
3) In your professional opinion, given my explanation of the severity of the harassment & discrimination issues I have been subjected to, how do you think I should proceed going forward? Seek counsel prior to returning to work?Thank you!

Yes - see ADA here - https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/12112 (42 U.S.C. § 12112(d))

See HIPAA - here https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/45/164.530 (45 CFR 164.530 (a))

Generally, it appears that Mutual of Omaha is the plan and your employer appears to be administering it at least in part of collecting information. If it is Mutual of Omaha exclusively administering the plan, they cannot share any of the information with your employer or their personnel; you are correct. The benefits rep shouldn't be asking for progress reports from your Dr. It would be illegal for your employer to require medical information from you other than for an FMLA leave, which has its own procedure, whereby your employer queries your doctor for the amount of leave etc you need.

Right now you have at most a technical violation of the ADA and HIPAA. Of course, if the employer continues to demand the progress reports and/or ultimately terminates you for that reason, you then have a case. Then it would be a good idea to get an attorney. I would also suggest to the benefits person at the employer that if they are doubting your continued medical certification for time off they have to follow the FMLA rules for recertification (See 29 CFR 825.308)

Hope this helps. Thanks

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you John!! Your information has met & exceeded my expectations thus far! Now, I just have 2 last things to ask.1) I need to verify as to if my "self insured" (per the benefits HR person) company is legitimately "self insured" and is administering the plan.For questions #1 & 2 here's the following information to illustrate the situation:I was told per the benefits HR person that "we only use Mutual of Omaha to take care of some of the medical stuff that we don't know" I was told they're used something like a consultant (which I find to be strange given that they decide to consult an insurance company that provides corporate STD & LTD insurance plans just to legitimize patient progress notes from their MD??). I was also told that the 1st 4 weeks of absence were self paid by the company & anything after that "had to be approved by Mutual of Omaha" per this email:"Hi, Joe.
Because you have been out 4 weeks or more, we now have to get your absence approved by Mutual of Omaha.In order to continue receiving pay, you and your doctor must complete the attached Extension Form. (I emailed this form to your work address 10/12, and mailed it to you on 10/18.) Also, Mutual of Omaha requested that you complete the authorization form from the Institute for Personal Development*, as they will not provide information to Mutual without your consent. A copy is attached. (The form was also mailed to you.)Please email the completed forms back to me as soon as possible. Thanks."*Institute for Personal Development = my MD's officeSo, with all of that to illustrate the situation, in your professional & objective analysis of above said information, what would be your summation regarding whether they are "self insured" & administering the plan using MoO (Mutual of Omaha) as a legitimization contractor for their plan OR is MoO actually administering the plan? I'm leaning towards MoO administering the plan because I was told to fill out & sign the release of info to the MoO rep. ONLY per the email above.Question #2I just received the following email from the benefits coordinator's assistant (same person as the email above)"Hi, Joe.
Mark **** from Mutual wrote to tell me that you asked him to give you a call. As information, Mutual does not make calls directly to our employees to answer questions. If you want to ask Mark a question, you have to go through either George or me.Thanks.Sharon ****
Benefits Representative
***** *** *** ********
Phone: 312/***-****
Fax: 312/***-****
E-mail: ***@***.com"Is this legitimately true?? I sign a release of information form to someone I can't even contact to ask them if they had received the progress report & FMLA forms????The 2 forms I've attachedYour response is much anticipated & appreciated!Joe

They are self-insured up to 4 weeks, then insured by MOO thereafter. MOO appears to administer the plan with some assistance from your HR, namely distributing and/or collection of forms.

This is a situation where MOO just analyzes medical records to determine if you meet the criteria, all other admin functions are done by your HR department; apparently. Which this is legal...they can split up the functions however they like.

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question

I am sending you this follow-up to determine if you require further assistance with your matter. I believe I have answered I believe this answers your question. However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation – simply reply to this answer. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as it is the only way I am able to get credit for my answers (even though the website already charged you, it does not credit me with the answer unless and until you indicate you are satisfied with the answer). If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. Thank you, ***** ***** wish you all the best with this matter.

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
The questions that I have are:
1) Am I required by my HR to give said forms with HIPAA and/or ADA PHI within directly to them?2) Correct me if I am wrong but, doesn't HIPAA state that a "covered entity" is one who administers the plan? Per your statement above, wouldn't that make MoO the covered entity as well as my employer? Therefore, me signing the release for the MoO Rep to have access to my PHI & having my MD electronically send my progress forms containing PHI directly to the MoO rep be legal & in compliance with HIPAA without any reason for my HR to deem me to be out of compliance with their policies? The reason I ask this is that there was a woman in a similar situation to mine for which they ended up firing due to "not getting medical forms from her MD for STD to the company". I am concerned that they will use this as a reason to fire me.So, again the Cliff Notes version of my 2nd question is: Is my method of having the progress forms containing PHI sent directly to the MoO rep be any reason for them to take drastic measures like firing me?

1 - Directly with HR as they appear to be the plan administrator, at least in part.

2 - Yes. Employers are at will, they can terminate for any reason. Terminating for not providing forms seems fickle(as opposed to just denying the leave/claim) but it is legal.

John
John, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5,962
Experience: Exclusively practice labor and employment law.
Verified
John and 87 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I agree. However, I still don't feel comfortable sending my HR my PHI but, because IL is an "at will" state, looks like I have no choice even though I was reassured by the CPO (Head of HR) that this was fine & had done this before without any issues....Thank you for your help!!I believe that you have answered my questions more than my expectations!
Was this answer helpful?
Ask John Your Own Question
John
John
John, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5,962
5,962 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Exclusively practice labor and employment law.

John is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

I must thank you all for such a positive and knowledgeable Expert in your Employment Law category. She has provided much relief and answers for me in the midst of dealing with a case. I am totally pleased with her customer service and care.

MildredWashington, DC

Excellent direction from Socrateaser to help me preserve and pursue my rights as a proud American who has become unemployed in this messed-up economic downfall. Thank you

Happy CustomerDenver, CO

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Tina

Tina

Lawyer

8,184 satisfied customers

JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.

Allen M., Esq.

Allen M., Esq.

Employment Lawyer

12,976 satisfied customers

Employment/Labor Law Litigation

Marsha411JD

Marsha411JD

Lawyer

12,406 satisfied customers

Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law

Infolawyer

Infolawyer

Lawyer

12,335 satisfied customers

Licensed attorney helping employers and employees.

JB Umphrey

JB Umphrey

Lawyer

6,273 satisfied customers

Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.

John

John

Employment Lawyer

5,962 satisfied customers

Exclusively practice labor and employment law.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Attorney

3,007 satisfied customers

I provide employment and discrimination law advice in my own practice.

< Previous | Next >

Related Employment Law Questions
Does paying for short term disability insurance on the
does paying for short term disability insurance on the paycheck a sign to the employer that the individual is regarding as having a disability?… read more
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
12,406 satisfied customers
I am receiving short-term disability benefits through the
Hello, I am receiving short-term disability benefits through the state that will end on 5/18/18. I intend on resigning from my current job and would like guidance as far as how to do this. I contacted… read more
KUMI95
KUMI95
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
17 satisfied customers
I was on Short Term disability in Sept.- Nov off 2017. I
I was on Short Term disability in Sept.- Nov off 2017. I went back two work Dec working from home per my doctor for two months and then went into the office. I go sick again due to stress from work. C… read more
LegalPro54
LegalPro54
Doctoral Degree
1,258 satisfied customers
I BELIEVE RETALIATION DISCRIMINATION FROM MY MANAGER AND
I BELIEVE I AM RECEIVING RETALIATION DISCRIMINATION FROM MY MANAGER AND REGIONAL MANAGER … read more
LegalPro54
LegalPro54
Doctoral Degree
1,258 satisfied customers
Can my employer add my Fmla and my short term disability
Can my employer add my Fmla and my short term disability together … read more
Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq.
Employment Lawyer
Juris Doctor, Cum Laude
12,976 satisfied customers
I need to file for short term disability with my employer
I need to file for short term disability with my employer under FMLA for stress and anxiety reasons; is my application going to put me in jeopardy for my job? I have recently found out that some reduc… read more
Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq.
Employment Lawyer
Juris Doctor, Cum Laude
12,976 satisfied customers
I have a situation at work regarding ada discrimination,
Second opinion] I have a situation at work regarding ada discrimination, harassment, and other issues pertaining to my job. I am being singled out. I am facing termination from my employer. HR is inve… read more
Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq.
Employment Lawyer
Juris Doctor, Cum Laude
12,976 satisfied customers
Am I required to submit FLMA and short term disability
Am I required to submit FLMA and short term disability paperwork to my employer if I'm working four hours a day in office and working four hours from home while receiving physical therapy for a hernia… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
32,605 satisfied customers
ADA Accommodation, is it something like FMLA Act. Pass to
ADA Accommodation, is it something like FMLA Act. Pass to protect your job and rights, when need Accommodation due to a work injury once FMLA is used up.is there a time limited for ADA Accommodation b… read more
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq
Doctoral Degree
17,872 satisfied customers
Employment law Constructive dismissal as retaliation for
Employment law Constructive dismissal as retaliation for sexual harassment and FMLA limitations… read more
Olivia Kent
Olivia Kent
Managing Partner
Doctoral Degree
3,228 satisfied customers
I'm currently on short term disability and am not wanting to
I'm currently on short term disability and am not wanting to return to my current employer because the stress of this job is a large part of the reason for my impairment. what is the appropriate way t… read more
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
12,406 satisfied customers
I am on short term disability through my current employer.
I am on short term disability through my current employer. In state of IL; at will state. WHAT ID LIKE TO HAPPEN: Look for other work. Go back to my employer to give notice & stop disability, transiti… read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
I've been out on short term disability/FMLA for a broken
I've been out on short term disability/FMLA for a broken ankle. My FMLA runs out on February 24th. My doctor informed that I can return to work on February 13th with some minor restrictions - nothing … read more
LegalPro54
LegalPro54
Doctoral Degree
1,258 satisfied customers
If some has and short term disability insurance and is
If some has long and short term disability insurance and is denied their claim and subsequent appeal what is a next course of action to take against that insurance company?… read more
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq.
Attorney
JD
19,574 satisfied customers
I filed for short term disability through the company that I
I filed for short term disability through the company that I work with. I had the doctor fill paper work. If the paper work that I submitted to the disabitlity company shows I have a diagnosis is the … read more
John
John
Employment Lawyer
5,962 satisfied customers
CIVIL - EEOC - Discrimination, Retaliation, Wrongful
CIVIL - EEOC - Discrimination, Retaliation, Wrongful Termination... How to WRITE/WORD the petition to the court for:One of the retaliations = Suspension without warning of the use of vacation time Jul… read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
I have exhausted my FMLA, short term disability and
I have exhausted my FMLA, short term disability and currently pending long term disability in the state of Texas. I briefly went back for a week during FMLA prior to my illness getting worse. My quest… read more
John
John
Employment Lawyer
5,962 satisfied customers
I have used all of my FMLA along with short term disability
I have used all of my FMLA along with short term disability during Feb-May came back to work 5/5. I was not 100% better however I went back to work. Migrane headaches caused by an accident and then ha… read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
11,224 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x