Williamstown, NJ asked in Employment Law and Health Care Law for New Jersey

Q: Coworker announced I was leaving early for medical procedure, is that against HIPPA?

I have MS and need to leave my job early 1x a month to get a medical infusion with my medications. This week, a member of the dispatch team announced Via email that I was leaving early for an infusion. This went to over 10 of my coworkers. Is this something that I can seek action on against my employer for releasing ? Or not because it didnt specify why?

2 Lawyer Answers

A: It is unlikely that your employer is a "covered entity." If it is, and there have not been repeated violations, it is possible your employer could be subject to a fine for disclosing this information. Depending upon the facts and circumstances, including whether the covered entity profited from the disclosure, a fine could range from $100 to $50,000. The facts described in your question suggest the lower end of the range is likely to be appropriate if your employer is a "covered entity."

As for you yourself profiting off this, HIPAA does not create a private cause of action by an individual for disclosure. You would need to consider another theory of legal liability if this disclosure caused you to sustain legally compensable damages.

Paula M. Dillon
Paula M. Dillon
  • Hackensack, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: I would recommend that you make a complaint with Human Resources to prevent this from happening again.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.