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H.R. Code of Ethics.

Mooresville, NC |

I'm a supervisor who is out on medical leave. Can the H.R. Department tell another supervisor over the phone what all is wrong with me. In detail. That I broke two fusions in my neck, I bruised my brain and I'm having seizures. Is this not covered as if it was HEPPA related??

Attorney Answers 3

  1. HIPAA governs communications made by health care providers and their agents.

    Regardless, even if this were a HIPAA violation, there is no private cause of action under it, i.e. it doesn't give you the right to sue.

  2. Most employers are not "covered entities" for HIPAA purposes, and there's no private right of action for HIPAA violations anyway. H.R. is there for the benefit of employER and may generally disclose such information within the company about employees as it sees fit. The exception is when employer is accommodating disabilities in the workplace, but that's not what you describe.

    Not legal advice, just my two cents. Consult North Carolina counsel if you need legal advice. I practice in Vermont ONLY.

  3. The Americans With Disabilities Act requires employers to keep medical and health information strictly confidential. There are some limited exceptions to this, but I do not believe those are applicable based on the facts you provide. Therefore, while this is probably not a HIPAA violation, it may well be an ADA violation.

    Kirk J. Angel is an experienced attorney who focuses his practice on employment law. Mr. Angel, who has practiced employment law for more than 15 years, represents clients throughout North Carolina and more information about him is available at This response is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. Additionally, this response does not create an attorney client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact a lawyer in your state who practices in the appropriate area.

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