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What are the HIPPA laws for an ailing employee's spouse when the employer informs others of the spouse's health issues?

Bellevue, NE |
Filed under: Employee rights

My husband had told his immediate supervisor that I had health issues (cancer) and that he may need time off to attend to my needs. A supervisor then told a (non supervisor) employee about my health issues. While this employee was at work she then told another individual from another company of my health issues. The employee said, "Mike's wife has health issues" (He did not say my name nor did he say what my health issues were. Keep in mind that he stated my husband's full name during the conversation. The individual already knew of my husband). This other company knows my husband and this employee through their mutual employer (meaning my husband's and the employee's employer) because the employer does business with the company. They now know that Mrs. Mike XXXX has health issu

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Federal law apply, unless otherwise specified.

    That being said, there is no private right of action under HIPAA. You can make a complaint if you believe you have one through Health and Human Services; http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/complaints/index.html.

    If you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me at the below address(es) or telephone number.

    /Christopher E. Ezold/
    The Ezold Law Firm, P.C.
    One Belmont Avenue,
    Suite 501
    Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
    (610) 660-5585
    Cezold@Ezoldlaw.com
    www.ezoldlaw.com


  2. Hard to prove and doubtful you could do anything about it.

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