Can an Employer violate the Privacy Act and the Hippa Law

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Latest post 06-17-2011 4:45 PM by Chancey1. 8 replies.
  • 12-28-2006 1:45 AM

    Question [=?] Can an Employer violate the Privacy Act and the Hippa Law

    My employer exposed some personnel record information of some employees on a public doument that everyone on the agency saw. Meaning some personnel disciplinary actions. Can they do this, are the employee´s disciplinary actions protected from people that don´have a need to know basis, can this information be exposed to other employees? Can legal action be taken?

    My employer is also requesting that whenever whe the employees are sick we have to bring in a doctor´s notewith the general nature of the sickness that we have. Is this also legal?
  • 12-28-2006 8:46 AM In reply to

    Feedback [*=*] re: Can an Employer violate the Privacy Act and the Hippa Law

    "My employer exposed some personnel record information of some employees on a public doument that everyone on the agency saw. Meaning some personnel disciplinary actions. Can they do this" Yes.

    "are the employee´s disciplinary actions protected from people that don´have a need to know basis," No.

    "can this information be exposed to other employees?" Yes.

    "Can legal action be taken?" No.

    "My employer is also requesting that whenever whe the employees are sick we have to bring in a doctor´s notewith the general nature of the sickness that we have. Is this also legal?" Yes.

    Nothing in your post remotely suggests that your employer is violating any laws.
  • 12-28-2006 12:36 PM In reply to

    re: Can an Employer violate the Privacy Act and the Hippa Law

    "Can they do this, are the employee´s disciplinary actions protected from people that don´have a need to know basis, can this information be exposed to other employees?"

    Yes and yes.

    "Can legal action be taken?"

    Sure, but there seems to be no legal basis to do so.

    "My employer is also requesting that whenever whe the employees are sick we have to bring in a doctor´s notewith the general nature of the sickness that we have. Is this also legal?"

    Yes.

    Where's the HIPAA issue here?
  • 12-28-2006 1:15 PM In reply to

    Feedback [*=*] Government employment?

    That's about the only possibility where exposing this info would be a problem.

    An employer can always request a doctor's note. No law regulates that.
  • 12-28-2006 2:16 PM In reply to

    • cbg
      Consumer
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on 12-21-2000
    • MA
    • Posts 6,830

    HIPAA

    is by no means as broad as most people assume it is.

    It is not even remotely a violation of HIPAA to request a doctor's note. For the most part, employers are not subject to HIPAA at all. On those occasions that they are, ONLY information that is obtained through the group-sponsored insurance plan is protected under HIPAA. Information that you provide to your employer (even at their request) is not protected by HIPAA or any other law.

    I don't know what Privacy Act you are referring to but the only information that an employer is required by law to keep confidential is SOME medical information that they may have. For the most part, you do not have any expectation of privacy in the work place. Disciplinary action is not protected in any way, shape or form.
  • 06-17-2011 3:39 PM In reply to

    • astridm23
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 06-17-2011
    • FL
    • Posts 1

    Re: Can an Employer violate the Privacy Act and the Hippa Law

    My wife was at hospital and i was unable to go to work for two days. My employer is asking me fo all documentation i have about my wife visit the hospital, IS THAT LEGAL?

  • 06-17-2011 4:05 PM In reply to

    Re: Can an Employer violate the Privacy Act and the Hippa Law

    If you miss work for ANY reason the employer can ask you about it.

    Absolutely no laws prohibit the employer from asking for this information.  The limitation would be if they knew your wife went to ABC clinic and they contact the clinic to get information.  Laws limit what information the medical provider can give out.

  • 06-17-2011 4:40 PM In reply to

    Re: Can an Employer violate the Privacy Act and the Hippa La...

    Of course it is. You could be lying. This has nothing to do with HIPPA which limits information that can be provided by medical providers.

  • 06-17-2011 4:45 PM In reply to

    Re: Can an Employer violate the Privacy Act and the Hippa Law

    Best to avoid piggybacking on someone else's old thread.

    Note employer is *asking* for this info, and yes, it's free to demand it.  Doesn't mean you have to cough it up.  Obviously, it's up to your wife to decide whether she wants to cough up that info; if she's okay with it, that's all you really need worry about it (HIPAA applies to the medical provider and the employer if the employer is running it's own health insurance plan/is self-insured; meaning, if self-insured, the employer isn't entitled to broadcast private medical details it gleans from medical claims/records to every Tom, ***, Harry). 

    If employer is subject to FMLA and you eligible, and your wife's serious health condition lasted beyond just the two days in the hospital in terms of medical treatement (not necessarily in-patient) and a doctor is willing to do a medical certification that your presence was necessary for whatever reasons, then you can suggest to the employer that it's free to ask for a medical certification.  It doesn't have to go into specifics about the illness, etc. to comply with FMLA regs; the average doctor will be familiar with the fact that the patient will need to okay what info goes on it.

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