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  • knight827
    started a topic Termination in Pa. Pennsylvania

    Termination in Pa. Pennsylvania

    Hello all,
    I apologize if this is posted in the wrong place but I am a first time user and desperately need help.

    First the question then the circumstances, can an employer in Pa. be compelled to to give a separation notice to an employee? I recently moved from Tn. where it is required. Now the explanation. My fiancÚ was recently terminated from employment in the health care industry for grounds that make no sense to me. In Tn. I worked as management for a number of years and was very familiar with the regulations involving employee termination but in Pa. from what I could google the laws are very ambiguous.

    She worked as a therapist dealing with mentally disadvantaged children and had 2 clients one of which was child exclusive at his school the other was with the whole family at their residence.

    Recently we found out our 2 year old has a similar disadvantage as she works with but still needing a full diagnoses due to his age. The day he was scheduled for his first "at daycare" session his therapist called fiancÚ and said their was a release form that was forgotten and needed to be signed before she could see him there. She asked her immediate onsite superior if that could be arranged and she said yes. So she met the little ones therapist in the parking lot of the school nowhere near the client and signed the papers. A few days later she was restricted from seeing that client for undisclosed reasons but allowed to see the other one. A week later a meeting was scheduled and she was terminated for breach of confidentiality for meeting with the therapist to sign the forms.

    Turned out the person that reported this "infraction" was the same person that said it was okay. A little while later we found out that the company had called the other clients home and notifed them she was terminated for breach of confidentiality on their answering machine. We know this because the family had bonded with her and contacted her directly to find out where she would be working next so they could continue to have her as a therapist.

    Now what i need to know is really 2 things 1. is there anyway to get that in writing for future employment? 2. is it breach when the other party is also coved by confidentiality agreements and the client never was present? well and a third i just thought of is it legal in pa. for them to make a call and disclose details? I know in Tn. only minimal details were allowed IF someone called us.

    I thank you in advance for any help you can offer and ask the mod to move this anywhere it should be.

  • WhoRUFoolin
    replied
    try this site

    Originally posted by knight827 View Post
    Hello all,
    I apologize if this is posted in the wrong place but I am a first time user and desperately need help.

    First the question then the circumstances, can an employer in Pa. be compelled to to give a separation notice to an employee? I recently moved from Tn. where it is required. Now the explanation. My fiancÚ was recently terminated from employment in the health care industry for grounds that make no sense to me. In Tn. I worked as management for a number of years and was very familiar with the regulations involving employee termination but in Pa. from what I could google the laws are very ambiguous.

    She worked as a therapist dealing with mentally disadvantaged children and had 2 clients one of which was child exclusive at his school the other was with the whole family at their residence.

    Recently we found out our 2 year old has a similar disadvantage as she works with but still needing a full diagnoses due to his age. The day he was scheduled for his first "at daycare" session his therapist called fiancÚ and said their was a release form that was forgotten and needed to be signed before she could see him there. She asked her immediate onsite superior if that could be arranged and she said yes. So she met the little ones therapist in the parking lot of the school nowhere near the client and signed the papers. A few days later she was restricted from seeing that client for undisclosed reasons but allowed to see the other one. A week later a meeting was scheduled and she was terminated for breach of confidentiality for meeting with the therapist to sign the forms.

    Turned out the person that reported this "infraction" was the same person that said it was okay. A little while later we found out that the company had called the other clients home and notifed them she was terminated for breach of confidentiality on their answering machine. We know this because the family had bonded with her and contacted her directly to find out where she would be working next so they could continue to have her as a therapist.

    Now what i need to know is really 2 things 1. is there anyway to get that in writing for future employment? 2. is it breach when the other party is also coved by confidentiality agreements and the client never was present? well and a third i just thought of is it legal in pa. for them to make a call and disclose details? I know in Tn. only minimal details were allowed IF someone called us.

    I thank you in advance for any help you can offer and ask the mod to move this anywhere it should be.
    I would try this site, worth a shot. Let me know. http://www.dli.state.pa.us/portal/se.../l_i_home/5278

    Leave a comment:


  • knight827
    replied
    Unfortunately this is all we know for the reasons and it seemed wrong as a layman so I cant provide more than we know. I can guarantee that I fully understand that trying to seek help without being honest about the facts guilty or innocent is a bigger hinderance than anything else. thank you from both of us for your help.

    Leave a comment:


  • TSCompliance
    replied
    There must be more to this, or you are not getting the whole story.

    Privacy/confidentiality is a sticky issue and is often misunderstood even by experienced people in healthcare, so anything's possible.

    But without knowing more, the employer was completely legal in firing her because they believe she breached someone's confidentiality, whether she actually did or not. We often have to err on the side of caution when any areas of liability come up, and privacy is a huge liability area.

    I think in future job interviews she needs to disclose that she was termed, and if they ask why, she might say "a misunderstanding over confidentiality, and my employer decided to be extra cautious." It's not unheard of in this field to encounter people who have been fired because a past employer decided to err on the side of caution when there was some confusion with confidentiality. It's also entirely possible that the employer won't give any reasons for term to future reference callers. They may just say "she's not eligible for re-hire."

    I am vverrrryyyyy strict with privacy/confidentiality, and even I have allowed people to be hired who had previously been fired by past employers because some confusing HIPAA case. As long as she is not trashing the former employer, and she is just matter of fact --"they believed that there was some sort of privacy breach, when there actually wasn't, and I understand they had to err on the side of caution and they terminated me" then she should not be harmed too much by this in the future.

    Leave a comment:


  • knight827
    replied
    Her son is being treated by another agency due to insurance reasons, their claim is that since she met her sons therapist in her clients school parking lot that is a breach just by the disclosure where to the school is, but no details were revealed at all except for the location of the school. Personally i see it the same as if she called an ambulance because her sons therapists would not be able to disclose the schools location either since her agency has nearly identical guidelines.
    The Client was in class and nowhere near her and she requested a break specifically and clearly stating as to the purpose.

    Leave a comment:


  • TSCompliance
    replied
    I do have tons of experience with confidentiality in behavioral health, 12 years of which was in PA.

    I'm not understanding something in your story.

    Whose information are they saying was breached, your fiance's son's or your fiance's client's information? I don't know what "they claimed that her sons health care provider was a breach" means.

    Are they accusing her of sharing info about a client with the person who treats her son?
    Is there some overlap, meaning her son is getting services from the same school or agency that she works for? In that case, I'd be more concerned with her having a potential conflict of interest that a privacy breach.

    Leave a comment:


  • knight827
    replied
    Thank you for clarifying. You seem to be very knowledgeable in this area so my next question comes with some trepidation because I fear I already know the answer... Is there anything that we can do to protect her for prospective employers? No matter how abstract the thoughts may be her career is very important to her and she has worked very hard to establish it. So no matter how outside the box your suggestions may be I think at this point anything is worth a shot.

    Leave a comment:


  • cbg
    replied
    Sorry, I didn't mean to be cryptic.

    There isn't a law that requires them to stick to the original reason for the termination, because they are not required to stick to the original reason for the termination. Some employers simply do not like to say to the employee, You are fired because of x. They'd rather say, We're cutting back, or We're eliminating your position, or something neutral like that. Sometimes this is cowardly. Sometimes this is for other reasons. But it does happen.

    When it happens, however, the employer is still entitled to say to the unemployment office, or to a prospective employer calling for references, The employee was fired because of x. Even if that is not what they told the employee.

    Leave a comment:


  • knight827
    replied
    Originally posted by cbg View Post
    No. There isn't. That's because they are not so compelled.
    sorry not sure what the second part of that actually means. because there is no law in that regards or because it is an umbrella so to speak? I am just trying to protect her career over something that I don't see a reason for termination. I thank everyone for your assistance and please don't misunderstand my ignorance.

    Leave a comment:


  • cbg
    replied
    No. There isn't. That's because they are not so compelled.

    Leave a comment:


  • knight827
    replied
    The confidentiality problem is they claimed that her sons health care provider was a breach despite no actual disclosure of client or details. But I thank you for your response right now she is afraid that the reason for termination could "vary" depending on who was asking. I need to know if their is an officially recognized way to compel them to only recognize the original reason.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pattymd
    replied
    Pennsylvania does not require any written notice of separation.

    The laws in PA are really no different than in TN or any other state, except Montana, and sometimes even there. Without a bona fide employment contract or CBA specifying the circumstances under which an employee can be terminated, employment is "at-will", meaning the employer can terminate an employee at any time for any reason that does not violate the law.

    If you are talking about what the former employer can disclose to a prospective employer, again, the laws in PA are no different than they are in any other state, i.e., the former employer can disclose anything that is the truth or is their honestly held opinion. Your employer in TN may have had stricter rules about what they would disclose, but there was no law there that required the stricter rules.

    I'm not clear about what the confidentiality issue was, or what other employees have to do with it. Maybe someone else can make sense of that part.

    Leave a comment:

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