Coworker spreading private medical information about my sister

UPDATED: Aug 20, 2019

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Coworker spreading private medical information about my sister

What do I do when a coworker of mine
is spreading extremely private medical
information about my sister a former
coworker at our company??

Asked on August 20, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Kentucky


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

There is nothing you can do: any claim your sister has is not your claim, and you cannot take action for her.
Your sister may be able to sue the coworker and/or the employer (the employer is liable if they did not take proper steps to secure any information in their  possession) IF the information was obtained improperly: e.g. from your sister's personnel file.
But if the coworker knows this from some other source--e.g. you sister told her, or a friend of your sister told her--then there is nothing your sister can do, either. Any person can share any information they do not obtain in an improper way (e.g. they are told by someone) with any people they want or in any location (e.g. at a former employer) they want. There is no general protection for health information; all there is, is protection for information in business or doctor's files.

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 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.

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