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public disclosure of private facts. Maryland

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  • public disclosure of private facts. Maryland

    I was recently diagnosed with a medical condition. My Doctor told me to take some time off of work. My Boss told me that I "needed" to tell him what was wrong with me and then asked me what medication I was prescribed. So I told him.

    Upon my return to work, I was asked by a co-worker about my condition and that my boss had told him (co-worker) and several other co-workers about my medical condition.

    Now, not only does my Boss know about my condition, but everyone that I work with.

    I am currently out on STD for my condition.

    Do I have a case based on "Invasion of privacy" or "public disclosure of private facts"?

    I am at no risk to my co-workers and there was no reason for them to be told of my medical condition.

  • #2
    The main reason why I am on STD is because my condition became worse upon knowing that my co-workers had been told. My Doctor can verify this. So I would assume this would fall under mental distress?

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    • #3
      Actually, your employer not only can ask why you need to be out, but they should ask to ascertain if FMLA or ADA might be involved. No, this information isn't "privledged" or subject to privacy laws, though it is obviously not a best practice to go sharing it with the rest of the office.

      How do you know that everyone knows if you aren't there?
      I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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      • #4
        Is this covered under HIPPA?

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        • #5
          No, HIPAA does not apply here since the information in question was provided by the employee to the employer. In an employment situation, with only very rare exceptions that do not appear to apply here, HIPAA only applies with regards to information that was obtained through the health insurance plan, and not always then.
          The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ElleMD View Post
            How do you know that everyone knows if you aren't there?
            I returned to work before I was put on STD. I was asked by a co-worker about my condition, and he also informed me that everyone at work was told.

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            • #7
              It wasn't very professional of your boss to tell your co-workers of your medical condition but it wasn't illegal.
              Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

              Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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              • #8
                Thanks for correcting me, cbg - HIPAA

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