Is it a HIPAA violation for an employer to openly share drug test results?

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Is it a HIPAA violation for an employer to openly share drug test results?

Last night I was at a company function and my boss decided to tell 10 of my co-workers that upon getting hired I failed my drug test for marijuana so in turn I had to be fired and then rehired when I was clean. Is this something that I can sue over? When I was fired I became deeply depressed and physically ill because of the situation. When she brought it up to my entire team, it brought back traumatic memories. Is there anything that I can do?

Asked on June 6, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Kansas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

HIPPA does not apply to an employee-employer drug testing situation. Disclosing the results of such testing is perfectly permissable since HIPPA only applies when one's treating physician (or assistants in the treatment of a person) disclose medical information to a third party who is not in the medical field without the patient's express written permission. The only protection you may have here is if such a disclosure violated the terms of an employment contract or union agreement.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

HIPPA does not apply to an employee-employer drug testing situation. Disclosing the results of such testing is perfectly permissable since HIPPA only applies when one's treating physician (or assistants in the treatment of a person) disclose medical information to a third party who is not in the medical field without the patient's express written permission. The only protection you may have here is if such a disclosure violated the terms of an employment contract or union agreement.


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