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Confidentiality of Private Info


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#1 Animal_Lover_1957

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 07:32 AM

Where can I report inappropriate behavior of the head of Human Resources at my company? The boss doesn't want to do anything. The head of HR is repeating private and confidential information about employees of the company - me included. The type of things she is gossiping about are about staff members family and medical information, who has had a sexual harrassment claim made against them, the specifics about why a person was fired, etc. I live in New Jersey and I can't find anything on the state government website or labor relations website.

#2 Tax_Counsel

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 09:46 PM


Animal_Lover_1957 said...

The head of HR is repeating private and confidential information about employees of the company - me included. The type of things she is gossiping about are about staff members family and medical information, who has had a sexual harrassment claim made against them, the specifics about why a person was fired, etc.

Medical information about employees may be protected from disclosure under two federal laws. Depending on the circumstances, medical information held by an employer may be protected under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). You can learn more about what information is protected on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) page that discusses the HIPAA privacy rule. Violations of HIPAA get reported to HHS. Information about an employee's health and any disability are also protected by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces the ADA with respect to employment situations and you can file complaints with the EEOC for that. You can find out more about the ADA at the EEOC ADA facts page.

Apart from that medical information, however, federal law does not protect employee information in the hands of a private employer, and most states do not protect that either. Thus, an employer may generally disclose to pretty much anyone information about who had been accused of sexual harassment, why an employee was fired, etc. If the owner or president/CEO of the company doesn't care about how the HR director is doing her job, there isn't much you can do about a lot of this stuff.




#3 pg1067

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 02:32 AM

Animal_Lover_1957 said...

Where can I report inappropriate behavior of the head of Human Resources at my company?

Are you expecting that we know the internal chain of command at your company?


Animal_Lover_1957 said...

The type of things she is gossiping about are about staff members family and medical information, who has had a sexual harrassment claim made against them, the specifics about why a person was fired, etc.

Your post is not specific about what information about what is being said about "staff members family and medical information."  Very little, if any, information about employees' family members is either "private" or "confidential," and that information which does fall within those categories likely wouldn't be known by the employees' employer.  Information about persons who have had sexual harassment claims made against them and "the specifics about why a person was fired" are not legally protected agaisnt disclosure (particularly within the company).






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