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  1. Thank you for this information. I didn't understand why it was necessary to share my file, or fair for a couple of points in it to be inaccurately quoted, in a report that was only about the VR counselor's practices and fees. This report was copied to me, but not to the VR counselor, which seemed inappropriate to me. The Dpt. of Labor facilitator advised me that signed disclosure releases from me should be filed with them, but there isn't a single one in my file and my information has been shared with so many "entities" or individuals at this point I might as well have my social security number tatooed on my forehead. I appreciate the specific statutes.
  2. I didn't say this was the ONLY time this occurred and on THIS occasion it was NOT to verify my claim, this took place a long time ago, if it hadn't I would not be receiving VR. They did it because after making several payments to the VR counselor at his usual rate, they began a squabble with her about wanting to reduce the fees. In the course of this they shared my information which was quoted by their sub-contractor inaccurately, which I had to correct, but they also shared with me a list of complaints about the VR counsellor that undermines our relationship and information about another of her injured worker clients. For the record, 1) they told me the are NOT an entity and 2) I read that although injured workers have no rights under HIPAA except the minimum necessary rule, which I believe has been exceeded. There was no hype and there is nothing ridiculous about a concern for the constant sharing of private information of injured workers, to a lot of different individuals, or to each other, or the sharing of a VR counsellors fees and billing issues with injured workers. Thanks for the link, but I had already reviewed HIPAA rules and did not find an answer, that is the only reason I asked my simple questions here, so there was no need for sarcasm or rudeness. Injured workers are abused enough by adjusters, they don't need it from you.
  3. The Insurance adjuster in my Hawaii WC claim has never obtained a disclosure release from me and has shared my health and other private informaiton with sub-contractors or business associates, who also have not obtained a release from me. This has not been about matters directly connected to determining my rights to benefits. E.g. They shared my information without my prior knowledge or consent with an independent VR counselor, in connection with a squabble they had with my VR counselor about reducing his fees. They used this contractor's services to discredit his work as a means to reduce his fees, which has nothing to do with me. My question is:- Is the WC carrier considered an entity under the Hipaa rule? if not can they just share my info any time, any way they want for their own ends, without disclosure and release from me?
  4. I have a 1 yr fixed lease on an apt. in Hawaii, since Oct 2011, renewed via email twice. I need to know if HRS 521- 63 allows me to break my lease, based on diminished standard of living conditions and agreed use of space, without liability for rent through lease period to October and if there are tenant notice period requirements for major bldg. renovations. Landlord did not disclose planned major external renovations at last lease renewal. I received 9 days notice of major external concrete repairs and painting to my apt bldg and lanais that will take 5 months to complete and 3 days notice, they start today on one side of my apt and lanai. They state to expect noise from jackhammers, powerwashers and to seal windows and patio doors with plastic to protect from concrete dust, strong chemical sealant odors and water damage. They also advsd vibration may damage fragile items. I have spent the last three days packing up my glass, china, mirrors and paintings, but all the outdoor chairs, tables plants etc have to come inside the small apt. They will work around the building and come to the other side of my apt. and main lanai in the last two months of work, so I would have to do this twice and the noise and dust will be constant. I am here most of the time and am concerned about health issues, it is hot and there is no A/C, breathing may be affected if the windows and doors are sealed with plastic. Also there may be Asbestos in this old bldg and the dust and toxic fumes may be a problem. I can't find any code about required notice periods from a landlord in this situation, but have discovered that they knew about it well before I renewed my lease last Oct. I advised my landlord this is a major problem, too short notice and I would not have renewed if I have been notified, as I have to pack everything up, to protect my belongings and am losing use of the living space agreed. Advice welcome.
  5. I am involved in a wc claim after an injury at work a year ago. I was not asked to sign a consent for release of my wc records by my company insurer at the time and my info has been shared with adjusters, case managers and an IME. I just received a letter from the company attorney asking me to sign a consent to release my records now. Question, am I legally obliged to sign at this late stage and are there legal issues regarding the distribution of my records without the signed consent?
  6. Thanks Tax Counsel, but I did not imply that a date of birth is encrypted within the ss#, I meant that if they have it, they have access to your credit file which contains all your private info including dob. Which is fine if they have made a provisional offer of employment, but this is not the case. The company I had in mind is HDQ in Hawaii. There are several large US companies that hire in the State of Hawaii and they are asking for a date of birth and ss# for initial online job apps. It would not be a problem if they had made a serious job offer, but this is not the case, its just the first hurdle.
  7. Thanks your input was great advice. I went to the State of Hawaii Department of labor website and found the following:- Hawaii Administrative Rules 6 Subchapter 6 (Age Discrimination) §12-46-133 Pre-employment practices. An applicant shall not be: (1) Asked his or her age or date of birth; or (2) Required to produce proof of age in the form of a birth certificate or baptismal record. (d) Nothing in subsection © shall be construed to prohibit: (1) Any inquiry as to whether or not the applicant meets the minimum age requirement set by statute or rule. If the applicant is under eighteen years of age, the employer may require proof of age in the form of an employment certificate or certificate of age; or (2) An employer, after an applicant has been hired, to inquire as to the applicant's age where those inquiries serve legitimate record-keeping purposes. [Eff 12/31/90] (Auth: HRS §§368-3, 378-8) (Imp: HRS §§368-3, 378-2) It appears the State of Hawaii does have a law and hiring companies can only ask if you are over 18 during the pre-employment process, not for your date of birth. Of course by asking for your social security number they can get this info anyway. Sent this to be helpful to others.
  8. Can any US company posting a job opening on the internet require your SS# and date of birth in order to submit an initial online job application. I.e. demand it or your application cannot go through? If there is no US federal code for this, does the state of Hawaii have one? Thanks
  9. Thanks for your response, but companies are required to declare this information "gathering" in their privacy statements including what they are using this information for. Given that ISPs have large banks of IP addresses that fluctuate all the time, I am not sure how knowing the IP address of someone who say makes a rental car or airline reservation prevents fraud.
  10. The original builder who built my new home in Texas, engineered and graded flat land into a subdivision constructed on different levels, with retaining walls separating. According to plans provided by the City, each property was supposed to drain forward to the streets in front, but this is not happening. Over the last couple of years excessive amounts of diverted drainage water flows like a waterfall over our back wall and erodes the land by flooding higher than the foundation up to brick and weephole level. I complained repeatedly to the Builder and the City during the last two years ago but they have done nothing about it. The new homes recently built on the upper level behind my property, were constructed on land built up more than five feet higher than the retaining wall, which is between four and six feet high across the back garden. The water volume flowing over the wall increases with each new home construction. Apart from the land erosion and standing water in the garden, structural damage to the home gets worse. The patio roof separated from the back of the house causing three serious leaks over an eighteen month period. Repairs were eventually made but it took so long that Mold developed in the home. Cracks developed on both sides of the house, twenty four bricks long in steps and also up the front of the home. Many of the bricks are disintegrating and the back of the house is separating from the roof. The upstairs door frames twisted and the floors creak and crack all the time regardless of whether anyone is upstairs on not. The builders manager acknowledged the problems were abnormal, but admitted they could not fix the home. This builder is under an FTC Consent Order and I filed a complaint, but for over a year the builder failed to correct or address the mold, diverted water drainage problem or the structural defects. For eighteen months the home has been uninhabitable due to health and safety issues. The Div. President for the builder came out to the home and stated that it is illegal for anyone else's property to drain onto mine. He also said I should have bought a two million dollar home if I wanted good drainage. He directed me to pursue the neighbors for redress. The retaining walls are already breached in places so their is danger of collapse. I reviewed Texas Water Code Section 11.086 and found that it is illegal to divert water onto another property and cause damage. The EPA advised me that the City is responsible, so I wrote to them again but they never responded. My question is who could be held accountable? Are the neighbors responsible for the diverted drainage water as suggested by the builder? Is the City responsible under the water code, or inverse condemnation because they knew by allowing further lots to be built, it would increase the volume of diverted water onto my property and add to structural damage and the uninhabitable conditions, effectively "taking" my home without recompense. Is the original builder/developer responsible for the diverted water because of the land grading and illegal retaining walls built without City permits.
  11. Is it legal in California for a company to garner IP addresses for their own uses, when customers buy online through their website?
  12. I reside in California and was laid off due to reduction in force. I signed a severence package agreement, but information came to light later that clearly indicated discrimination was involved in the layoff process. However, the document was downloaded from the company intranet site, printed on plain paper with no company letterhead or other identifying information. It was signed by my manager and I also signed it, but neither signature was notarized. Is this still a legally binding contract?
  13. If my employer moves me to a position in California, then needs to lay me off in less than a year, are they responsible for my moving costs back to my home state.
  14. Under CA law, If I am laid off within a year of a paid relocation to CA for my company, are they responsible to pay for my move back. Company HDQ is not in CA.
  15. During the past 3 yrs a lot of construction defects have come to light in my new home. Several roof leaks, the A/C unit broke down twice in the first few months. Soil erosion and standing water at the back of the house. 2 of the toilets have been removed 3 times due to leaks. My kitchen ceiling was torn out and so were parts of the walls to repair 3 times. It leaked again because the bedroom window was never sealed. they took the bricks out round the window to try and repair. They also tore 180 bricks out above the patio roof and had to replace twice because of bad workmanship. The toilet leaked down into the living room ceiling because it was improperly installed. They had not installed required metal flashing. A plumber tunnelled under the house to look for leaks and never replaced all the soil. No air hawks were installed to allow toxic fumes to escape. No weep holes in the brick work. Cracks have developed 24 bricks long in steps on both sides of the house and up the front. They tried to patch but it is not sticking. The front half of the driveway cracked as and there is no re-bar underneath. The builder has torn up my floors upstairs six times because of loud creaking and cracking. The tore a 9ft piece of my bedroom wall out to find the cause of the creaking. They used 7 tubes of toxic glue in just one day and ruined the carpets. They broke the toilet in half while trying to fix the bathroom floor and found black mold and live electrical wires under the bath tub. The window sill in the bathroom is swollen with water and cracked. The walls were so full of water for 18 mths they had to bring in de-humidifiers for three days and nights. The builder admits they are responsible for the sub-contractors bad work. They said they should have been here to supervise the work. They also said I don't have to notify a prospective buyer of any of the issues, unless its foundation related. One of them told me they fired all the sub contractors on this house due to bad workmanship. Regarding the drainage problem in the garden, the builder told me I should have purchased a $2M home if I wanted proper drainage. I have suffered major health issues in the last 18 months, including pneumonia, bronchitis, developing asthma and constant rhinicitis which is not diagnozed as allergies, but as a result of environmental factors. I asked the builder to buy back the house but they have ignored my requests for 9 months and just want to keep tearing my house up trying to patch it up. I have no choice but to sue them and want to know if I can sue for negligence due to health issues and financial loss because I can't sell the house. Also, as the builder HDQ and I now work and have residence in CA can I sue in CA or must I sue in the state the home was built in, which would be very inconvenient for me.
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