Breach of Confidentiality
Get Legal Help Today
Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
Breach of Confidentiality
I was employed in the medical field, I was recently terminated due to Breach of patient confindentiality. The patient in question was in a round about way a family member. Somehow our compliance officer was told that I breached confidentiality and it was investigated. Investigation concluded that “so and so” stated that I told them something of the patients medical condition that I had learned through my family not through my job and I was still let go. Is it really breach if the information I shared was info learned by family not in any relation to my job?
Asked on June 16, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 12 years ago | Contributor
Do you have a written agreement defining patient confidentiality and its requirements? If so, the written agreement will control--some confidentiality agreements specificy that is ok to divulge information learned in other ways, some do not.
If there is no specific confidentiality agreement, is there a general set of business policies or employee handbook that sets out the policy? If so, look to that for a guide.
However, even if you can establish that you did not technically breach confidentiality, that may not help you. Generally speaking, if you do not have an employment contract (including being covered by a collective bargaining or union agreement), employers may fire people for any non-discriminatory reason. If your employer feels that you are a bad risk for them, then even if you did not breach a confidentiality term, if you also do not have any written agreement protecting your employment, you may be let go.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.