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I was speaking to the Risk Manager in my city about my

I was speaking to...

I was speaking to the Risk Manager in my city about my frustration over the fact that the person I felt responsible for my injury at school hadnt bothered to say anything to me about it. He asked me if I’d spoken to her since the incident occur - did she know the extent of things. I said no it wasn’t my place to go to her, she wasn’t my boss or anything and frankly she should have come to me not the other way around. I added it was particularly frustrating because I had just seen her in the waiting room at the hospital and she said “Fancy meeting you here!” in a sarcastic tone and gone back to looking at her phone so it wasn’t like she didn’t have an opportunity to say anything. Less than an hour later my phone is inundated with texts from that person wanting to apologize. I tell her not to do so because she got a call from the Risk Manager. She says she didn’t know and she “messed up”. I send the RMgr an email the next day telling him he had no right to make that call, he violated my HIPAA rights, I was done talking to him. He says he’s sorry I feel that way but he thinks admin should know when an employee is hurt and he didn’t disclose any medical info. I say my rights were violated. Am I wrong?

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you discussed the injury with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?

Yes. HR first told me that they don’t fall under HIPAA bec they aren’t doctors but then backtracked when she realized it was a workman’s comp thjng

Lawyer's Assistant: Are you an "at will" employee? Do you belong to a union?

Union. And the union lead is lady’s good friend and has already broken trust in the past. Can’t go to him.

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

Think that’s it. Thank you.

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Answered in 11 hours by:
3/15/2018
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,765
Experience: Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
Verified

Hello,

Thank you for the information and your question. HIPAA privacy rules do not apply to entities that are either workers’ compensation insurers, workers’ compensation administrative agencies, or employers, unless those entities are otherwise covered (meaning they are medical providers, hospitals, etc.)

That said, regular privacy rights, not HIPAA rights, might apply to situations where an employer has private information, medical and otherwise, and shares it with someone who didn't know of the event otherwise because and doesn't have a need to know for purposes of the claim or issue.

In this case, you didn't mention anything that would have violated that general privacy right. The other person, at least according to your facts, already knew of the injury, and the fact that the Risk Manager spoke to them about the incident is actually well within the need to know since the Risk Manager's job is to train and correct issues in the workplace to avoid future accidents. In addition, the Risk Manager and your conversation would not be deemed confidential by the courts as it does not meet the legal definition. So unless the risk manager shared a particular medical diagnosis that is not known to anyone, there wouldn't be a privacy violation here either.

That doesn't mean that you can't discuss your concerns about what happened with management. It only means that there would be no legal recourse, unless it falls within the exception I mentioned.

Please feel free to ask for clarification if needed. If none is needed, then if you could take a moment to reply to this answer and let me know that I covered your question, then the Site will give me credit for assisting you today. Thank you

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Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the answer I provided to you on the 15th. For some reason, the Experts are not always getting replies, or ratings (at the top of the question/answer page you are viewing or in the pop up box for this question), which is how we get credit (paid by the Site) for our work, that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither.

Please keep in mind that I cannot control the law or your circumstances, and am ethically bound to provide you with accurate information based on the facts you give me, even if the news is not good. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator.Please note that Site use works best while using a computer and using either Google Chrome or Firefox.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed. You can bookmark my page at: http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-marsha411jd/

Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I actually do have a follow up if you wouldn’t mind - and thank you for offering! The person, who is not my boss, but also works at my school, was aware of the incident, but NOT of my being injured. That I suppose I didn’t make clear before. When I was talking to the Risk Mgr that’s what I was expressing frustration over - that she hadn’t even bothered to come find out the outcome of the situation because if she had she would have know I was having to go through all of this (physical therapy, doctors appts- that’s why she was non-pleased when she saw me at the hospital, she had no idea it was bec of the incident). So, when he called her and told her, he told her WHY I was at the hospital and what for. Does that not violate my rights? Was it not my right to share that, not him? That was the crux of my question.And after this I shall fill out the ratings and all, I missed the directions on that, my apologies - thank you for the clarification!

Thank you for your reply. As I am not your attorney and we are not forming an attorney-client relationship, I cannot provide a legal opinion or advice but only legal information. So, I can hazard an opinion on whether or not your privacy right was violation. If you reread my initial response, I believe you will find your answer.

If the risk manager was talking to them about the consequences of the accident/incident that they might have been a part of, then that is within the scope of what the risk manager is supposed to do. They investigate and educate workers to avoid further similar incidents in the workplace. On the other hand, if the employee wasn't implicated in the incident and the employer told them some information that was not known to anyone other than you and the risk manager/management, then there might very well be a privacy right violation. Definitely something to speak to management about.

Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,765
Experience: Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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