FAQs About Privacy Breaches In The Workplace
Your employer has the right to access a lot of information about you. However, there are limitations. There are also limitations on what your employer can share with others. If you feel that your employer has breached your right to privacy, here is what you need to know.
Is Medical Information Protected?
Of all the records that your employer has regarding you, your medical information is probably the most safeguarded. Medical information is protected by numerous laws, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA.
Your employer is legally required to take additional steps to protect your medical information. For instance, employers must keep medical information stored separately from all other employee records. Your employer also has to limit who has access to this information.
Your records can only be seen by people such as your supervisor, first-aid workers, and government officials. Each group has limitations for when they can gain access. For instance, a first-aid worker can only view your records if it is essential to providing medical treatment to you.
Are Investigation Records Protected?
During the course of your employment, you could undergo investigation for incidents that occur within the workplace. The records from those investigations are usually not specifically protected by the law.
However, there are potential ramifications from not properly protecting investigation records. For instance, if you are retaliated against because of statements that you made about a supervisor after the details of the investigation are leaked, you could take legal action against your employer for not protecting your statements.
What Can You Do?
Your options depend largely on the type of breach that occurred and what the results of the breach were.
For instance, if your employer shared your medical information without your consent, you can file a claim with the U.S. Department of Labor, or DOL. The department will investigate your claim and determine if your employer did violate your rights. If so, your employer could face fines. You might even be able to file a lawsuit and recover damages.
If you are retaliated against by someone in your company because of a breach from your employer, you could possibly file a claim with the DOL and receive financial compensation.
An experienced employment attorney can help you determine if you do have a case and whether or not you can receive financial compensation for the damages you suffer as a result. Contact an employment law firm for more information.