Urgent Advice NeededEmployer Breach of Confidentiality

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by kimfibro, Apr 19, 2006.

  1. kimfibro

    kimfibro New Member

    i work per diem as a cna at a new assisted living facility.
    a month back the fantastic nurse usually filling the work schedules had to take a mloa.

    another rn took over and she was often unfriendly & abrupt (has been known to be in general) if i said no to a shift she tried to fill in. was not feeling well enough even tho there's no lifting, etc here.

    one time she called & asked me to do a shift which i could not. was not well & no babysitter lined up. with her rotten attitude i felt compelled to tell her i hadn't been feeling well and couldn't accept the shift. when she was silent i told her i have fm, not having good time w/it.

    have since worked maybe 5 shifts. went in last nite 11p-730a (never again, first time). the cna i was relieving told me that on the updated employee call list next to my name has the word "Fibromyalgia" typed in. i was IN SHOCK when i saw it, computer print out w/that next to my name!

    this is posted in at least 5 offices in the facility and also all employees get updated phone listings. i removed the ones i could get my hands on and have them with me. this one was redone/updated 8 days ago.

    here WE are trained to adhere to all confidentiality issues with every resident no matter what!!

    need some input, advice, comments. am going to lay down for a bit due to absolute lack of sleep on the shift (even tho things were extremely quiet) so my mind can rest and hopefully i'll know how to deal with this HORRIFIC situation.......FEELING SO ANGRY AND CONFUSED.

  2. jakeg

    jakeg New Member

    I would definitely report that to management along with speaking to a lawyer about it also. I would not speak to the person that did this with out being advised by an attorney.

    This is a medical condition that was made public and should have not been.

    You can talk to HR but I would wait until after speaking to a lawyer first.

    This is something that should never happen to anyone. How inconsiderate of this person to reveal confidential information about you to the general public where you are employed.

    As I said I would speak to legal council and management about this in that order.

    So sorry that this has happened to you.

    Take Care

  3. kimfibro

    kimfibro New Member

  4. suzetal

    suzetal New Member

    You need to keep those and get yourself a lawyer.

    Do a search on HIPA it will tell you exactly what to do.

    That ticks me off when people are so ignorant.I was in management and would of gotten fired if I had ever done that.

    [This Message was Edited on 04/20/2006]
  5. mme_curie68

    mme_curie68 New Member

    I agree with Jake.

    I can think of at least three statutes - EEOC/ADA/and HIPA that were probably violated.

    I would have a lawyer write a "cease and desist" letter and go to the Director of Human Resources for the company you work for.

    Extra shifts are supposed to be optional - that's why they're called "extra"... as long as you are working the hours that you were hired for (x number of per Diem shifts) you should not be penalized. Easier said than done in a healthcare environment, where paradoxically, work-life balance is often tilted to the work side with madadatory overtime.

    I hope you kick their butts!

    Madame Curie
    [This Message was Edited on 04/20/2006]
  6. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    I would go to an immediate supervisor about this. I also have a question? Did you have to complete a physical prior to being hired? I wonder if this info could possibly have come from your physician? Just a thought, I may be way off track.

    If indeed someone has breached your confidentiality, then that is serious and should go to the supervisor.

    Sorry you have been through this.

    Love Anne C

  7. Scarlett65

    Scarlett65 New Member

    Please do report this witch. Anyone that belittles you because you are ill should not be a nurse! As a former respiratory therapist I am appalled by this idiot. I would sue sue sue. Something like this could trigger me having more symptoms and it happened to you. Just thinking of how others see us as making all this up. Do something legal to hurt this witch and show her she is governed by laws and her being over you at work does not give her the right to belittle you and release info about you that you must give her permission to release and just because you had to tell her you had it did not mean she had the right to post it on a employee list. Please take care and let her have it all and dont settle for some sappy apology get some money for this. These are the people law suits should be out there for.
  8. kimfibro

    kimfibro New Member

    thanks to all who wrote....it's such a nice feeling and i hope at times i am supportive to someone here too...

    nothing has ever been in print about fm regarding my position at this job. the only word out of my mouth was to her on the phone that one time 1-2 months back. that's it. i can only do this work per diem because of the fm. have no obligations as far as hours go but do work 3-6 shifts/mo.

    i am certainly going to look into this further online and absolutely will not broach the subject with them or the other rn supervisors. once i get the feel for which direction i should/could turn, i'll go that route only.

    not sure that she did this out of spite, tho. get the "feeling" she may have written FIBROMYALGIA on her list while she spoke w/me on the phone & when it came time to redo the list, the typist actually added it in! no difference, the damned list has been updated & posted for at least 8 days...can anyone READ over there??

    loved to hear outcomes of those who have violated confid. in the workplace from you guys. IS IT NOT BAD ENOUGH ALREADY WHAT WE LIVE WITH AND DEAL WITH?? so stressed over it i fear the worst...a big time flare. haven't had a major one in about a month. ugh. hugs to you :)

  9. kimfibro

    kimfibro New Member

    i can sympathize with your side of the coin as well, but,

    fm does not limit me to fulfill my duties while at work. there is no lifting here, no bathing, no serious care. it's an assisted living facility.

    fm limits me to how much of it (anything) i CAN do.
    walking, stress, assisting w/serving meals etc. truly affects me so that is why i do not do this type of work more than per diem.

    we all struggle SO MUCH with all of the facets to fm on a daily basis. there's exceptional evidence on this very website. just layers and layers of it.

    i'd certainly feel free to tell my employers i have a broken leg if it's in a cast.....but to feel so violated in this manner is quite a different story for me.

  10. lsmbrenz

    lsmbrenz New Member


    I have experience as an HR Director and an AL Administrator so I would like to try to help you w/ this situation. I have a few questions;

    - how long have you had the job?

    - did you disclose your FM on the application you filled out when you were hired?

    - who (position) at the facility did you tell you had FM?
  11. kimfibro

    kimfibro New Member

    i was diagnosed with fm in late july 05; began employment there in late sept 05 as per diem only. by my decision. i can perform my duties and tasks very well, just not on a reg pt or ft basis.

    that little span of time when i had to refuse shifts was when the regular rn had to take temp mloa. the other rn took over and handled things much differently than we were used to.

    the orig rn would have you on the phone for 5 minutes reviewing w/you what was available for the next 2-3 weeks and you'd have your pick of shifts.

    the 'fill in rn' called out of the blue a lot for immediate shifts to be filled. it wasn't just me that noticed her demeanor and changes in scheduling.

    i've been offered permanent positions in this facility since sept. and have politely declined. so have other per diems. have very good repoire with co-workers, residents, supervisors.

    my reasons are personal, medical and real...whatya think?
  12. lsmbrenz

    lsmbrenz New Member

    You are correct; this is problematic on a number of different levels. I would try to see what kind of amends the company will make b4 you incure the cost of an attny.

    Get a copy of the list w/ FM written next to your name if you already haven't

    Let the facility Admin know about the situation and that you are distressed about the breach of confidence and the sharing of your medical problems to the entire staff.

    If you work for a corporation, call the highest ranking HR person (typically VP) and talk to them about it, again letting them know how stressed you are that your medical hx was shared w/ everyone and you feel you are not getting shifts b/c of it.

    Listen carefully to everyone's responses and we can go from there.

  13. jakeg

    jakeg New Member

    It does not matter if this was a mistake or not. The fact remains that it was made public.

    While most of the time HR can be helpful to an employee they are there to protect the employer by smoothing things over in order to prevent law suites. This incident is beyond smoothing over.

    How do you think this can be changed? Will everybody that has read this ignore it(probably not)? Will they think of her and look and treat her differently because of this(yes I believe so)??

    How do you repair something like this??? Tell all the people that read it that they should ignore it(yea right like that will happen) and will be followed because they are told to.

    There are things that cannot be fixed or repaired once the damage has been done, and this is one of them.

    kimfibro I'm sorry for being so agitated about this for you, but this is something that really fries me. You go to work do your job and then because you couldn't fill in at the time that was requested your personal information is released to the general public.

    If these posting were in public areas where the residents of the facility could read them I would be outraged even more about this.

    There is no reason for any employee in any position to do something like this other than to inflict harm to the person that they have referenced.

    This goes beyond smoothing over. Where you decide to go with this is up to you and only you can decide that.

    Take Care

  14. Scarlett65

    Scarlett65 New Member

    If a person had AIDS and they told their boss and then it was posted in a place where others could see it, would there be a lawsuit? You can bet your BUTT there would be and if this was me I would be screaming it to the top of my lungs that I wanted some sort of apology public apology too and money all their money if need be. This is just wrong and to just let it go means to these people that it is appropriate to mistreat those of us with fibrmyalgia.

    If this were me I would make a copy of this document even take pictures of all the places it is posted and head straight to an attorney. There are attorneys that will not charge you until they collect for you so please dont take this based on costs to the attorney. Attorneys love cases like this where the abuse is so blatant. Take care.
  15. Jana1

    Jana1 New Member

    This has brought out so much over-the-top reaction in several people, not you kimfibro, I feel like you have been even handed over what happened.

    Why are so many so terribly vehement about this? I can't see the big deal about having that posted..now if it was a std, I can see the problem.

    I am NOT Trying to start anything...I just don't care if anyone knows I have FM..what difference does it make?

    Please tell me what I am missing here?

  16. jakeg

    jakeg New Member

    I made the mistake of telling people where I worked before I was fired for being out over 6 months. When I did try to return to work it was impossible for me to get anything done.

    Coworkers where talking about me and saying that I was crazy, nuts and lost it because of what they thought was stress due to my job.

    I had one of the least stressful jobs there.

    Most people have not a clue about this DD and assume that it is some kind of mental condition that you are dealing with, even after explaining to them what is happening.

    Try working while everybody is constantly watching you and see how long you will tolerate that behavior from people that you thought were friends at work.


  17. Michelle_NZ

    Michelle_NZ New Member

    I have CFS and have been quite open with people at my work about my condition. I thought it better to actually tell people why I was sick and taking so much time off was better than having them speculate and get it wrong.

    But it is true that I have to deal with the fact that some people have talked about me behind my back and said things that are not very complementary. I try not to let it get to me - the people who matter (my manager and my team) understand well enough what is going on with me.
  18. Greenbean7

    Greenbean7 New Member

    Per the recent (couple years ago) HIPA laws an employer is not allowed to discuss or disclose any medical information about an employee without written consent from the employee.

    Now if you came in with that broken leg (I thought that was great) you could talk about it with management or the other employees. However, management and other employees cannot talk about it among themselves without your written permission.

    Management also cannot ask what is wrong with you. If you call in sick and wish to volunteer that you have a migraine or whatever, that is up to you. It is still confidential and management should not discuss it. If you do not want to tell them what is wrong, that is your right.

    However, if you are sick often enough they can ask for a doctor's excuse each time you are out. This excuse will not say what was wrong, only that you were under a doctor's care.

    Posting your ailment on a board where it is visible to ANYONE is not legal unless you have given written permission to the employer to post the information.

    The multi-national corporation I was downsized from a year ago even required that we keep all medical information in a separate file, in a separate drawer from the personnel files.

    Now, that all being said, I chose to disclose my medical problems (FM and epilepsy) when I was diagnosed. When I was told I was being downsized, 30 days later, the manager said he thought it might be best because of my recent diagnoses!

    The HR rep was there and we discussed this afterward and the manager was sent to sensitivity and HIPA law training which was all I asked for.

    I, personally, would be happy with an apology and possibly a reprimand letter being placed in this RN's file. Lawsuits can be long drawn out stressful events and I wouldn't want to be involved in one.

    Depending on how badly you feel you were injured in this, a lawsuit may be what would you feel is the proper recourse. It is not a decision I would make without consulting a lawyer.

    Sorry they put you through this! Pray things get better.

  19. kimfibro

    kimfibro New Member

    the 'nice' rn had to have immediate emergency surgery of some sort. she was out for a month. that is held in strictly confidential and respectful standards. nobody knows what this surgery actually was. and good for her! there is nothing regarding her illness typed in by her name.

    the IDEA here is that the law requires this standard to be upheld to ALL. YES, those with AIDS, YES those with FM, YES those with CANCER, YES those with HEPATITIS...the list goes on. those with AIDS actually have their rights too!!

    i was never hiding my condition from coworkers. but neither did i discuss it. it's private. an analogy to use here would be: how would you feel if unbeknownst to you someone looked into your personal past, credit information, medical treatments, surgeries and felt free to post it in the workplace? NOT ACCEPTABLE ON ANY LEVEL.

    nobody at my place of work knew of my condition because my business is my business and my choice is to talk about it or not. i wholeheartedly feel no shame in NOT discussing private issues in the workplace. hell, we are TRAINED and DEMANDED to respect the confidentiality of every resident.
    we cannot even use their last names when cna's are communicating via walkie talkies.

    it's a feeling of violation, anger, and that perhaps privacy means nothing any more...but wrong! it's very much guarded and practiced. I NEED TO PROVIDE THAT AS PART OF MY JOB DESCRIPTION OR ELSE ONE CAN LOSE THEIR JOBS.
    yes, i have copies of this listing with me now at home.[This Message was Edited on 04/20/2006]
  20. leubie

    leubie New Member

    Kimfibro, im so glad you posted this---------SO SORRY it happened to you. I work full time in a bakery standing all day----------some days are the pits------when i have to call off ijust tell my manager what specically is wrong------------only recently did i tell one of my coworkers about fibro------------------ everyone knows now......but they could care less---------everyone would rather you work sick--------i had pneaumonia 6mos ago and all coworkers and manager were pissd at me!!!!!!!!!! -----------I would definitly contact a lawyer if you can---they really screwed you------and they knew exactly what they were doing--------by the way ive always wanted to do the type of work you are doing----when things settle down lets talh-----PLEASE KEEP US UPDATED----thanks---------LOVE TO ALL--LAURA

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