What is my recourse if my supervisor disclosed confidential medical information about me to co-worker’s?

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What is my recourse if my supervisor disclosed confidential medical information about me to co-worker’s?

I’m out on FMLA. My supervisor spread rumors of hysterectomy surgery I was having. Told all co-workers and the entire company is now talking about it. Any recourse? Not a soul at the office was told what, if any, type of surgery I was having. Very hostile work environment.

Asked on September 24, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You could sue your supervisor for invasion of privacy for disclosing your confidential medical information. 

Your damages (the amount you are seeking to recover in your lawsuit) would include if applicable, compensation for emotional distress, physical illness caused by the invasion of privacy, harm to business or social interests.  If you can establish a wrongful motive on the part of the supervisor for disclosing your confidential medical records, you could recover punitive damages.  Punitive damages are an amount to punish the defendant for intentional, malicious acts.

You will need to file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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