What to do if I have an employer that disclosed some false medical information to a co-worker of mine?

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What to do if I have an employer that disclosed some false medical information to a co-worker of mine?

The co-worker is pregnant and he said that, “I must be sad/mad that she is pregnant because I can not have kids”. In the past I disclosed some medical information to my employer in private stating that I will be out for work due to a surgery regarding my reproductive organs, never once did I mention I can not have kids. What legal steps can I take?

Asked on April 13, 2012 under Personal Injury, New Jersey

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It certainly was unfortunate and inappropriate that the employer said such a thing.  But it is unclear if it is in fact "actionable" under the law.  I think that you are asking this question with a HIPAA violation in mind.  Youe employer is not necessarily one of those parties that bound to HIPAA disclosure laws.  You have to act in a particular capacity to be in violation.  So we could move to an issue like defamation of charachter but it is unclear that you have any damages - monitarily or otherwise - to sue for.  I would speak with HR about what happened first.  That may be your only avenue here.  You can also speak with a PI attorney in your area which should be a free consultation.  Good luck.


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