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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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I had been written up before for hippa violation before, twice

Customer Question

I had been written up before for hippa violation before, twice I told my employer what had happen even tho I know one of the times they did not check into it. The last time was on May 2ed a patient came to me and said that they were kind of lost, I said well let me help , I ask patient if his name was a certain name he said yes. On may are bands I put line in green and ask them if that arm band is him please initial in the green he did that then I asked that he sighed giving us to consent treatment to sign he signed is name. At the time we did not have any one to take pt to xray so I took the patient and his wife to medical imagine. Patient came back and said it was not him. After singing the paper work and initial in green line. Do I have any chance in heck to draw unemployment or do I even have any chance of a case. thanks Karen
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  TexLaw replied 4 years ago.
Hi Karen,

Thanks for your question. I'm sorry to hear about this situation.

I think the best thing here is to start with an explanation of the law in this area and then discuss your case in particular. In Arizona, and throughout the United States, employment law heavily favors the employer in most situations. Unless the employee has a contract which provides that the employee may only be terminated for cause, the law will hold that the employee's right to work falls under the At Will Doctrine. The At Will Doctrine provides that an employer may terminate an employee for any reason whatsoever, even if it is a false reason. The only limitation on this is that an employer may not terminate an employee because of discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, military status, national origin, disability, age, or ancestry of the employee.

In your case, you say you were terminated because of an allegation that your employer felt you violated HIPPA for a 3rd time. Given that the employer has a right to terminate you for any reason that the employer believes is fit, do you believe that the termination was actually based on discrimination regarding your race, color, religion, sex, military status, national origin, disability, age, or ancestry?

Second, can you explain again why your employer believes that the last issue was a violation of HIPPA?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I don't know but my coworkers heard me ask the patient if it was his name and ask him to sign and initial.

Expert:  TexLaw replied 4 years ago.

Given the fact that you have two prior HIPPA violations and there is some problem (although I cannot figure out what it is) with this last scenario you've told me about, your employer has a basis to terminate for cause.

Nevertheless, you can file for unemployment, as it is up to the employer to prove that it fired you for cause. If the employer does not challenge your filing, you get benefits.