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I'm so mad right now...


terriep

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I know a while ago I told you guys about getting a job - whether or not to tell my future employer about my health history, etc. At the time I did not, but as there are three of us in the office I eventually told both of the ladies about what I have been through. I never heard another word. Have not missed a day of work, had no problems whatsoever. Now my co-worker and I went to get into a file and found last week some notes about my health. What is my status of social security, should they get a doctor's approval for me to do my job, etc. Something about would they be "liable" for me on the job? Never said a word to me. In fact I just received my second raise in 9 months - I feel so betrayed. Not only that, but she has a meeting with our board of directors today to discuss "personnel issues". That means everything that I told her in confidence will be discussed with the board. The WITCH!!! I feel so backed into a corner. I don't want to start looking for a new job - don't have the time right now and my nerves are shot as it is! Sometimes I think I just trust too many people. I just don't know what to do. My co-worker wants to confront her - tell her we were found the notes and demand an answer. Do you think the boss has a leg to stand on? I mean I have never missed a sick day or event that they have scheduled. Apparently I have done my job well - the raises show that. What do you guys think?

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First off, check with someone who is familiar with employment law in your state. From a federal standpoint, if they didn't ask before you started to work and didn't require a physical, they hired you "as is." It could affect your insurance coverage, if they offer it, in terms of pre-existing conditions, but your employment status is something different.

Unless you are unable to perform the job, they would have no grounds to fire you or restrict you, IMO. That doesn't mean though that they can't or won't.

Di

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First question, Terrie, and this is important: Do you log on to this site at work? If you do, anything you post can be viewed by your employers and traced. Their IP address will show and you will be "guilty" of stealing from the company - stealing time, like padding a time card.

Secondly, when was your "tenure" period? When could they have just let you go without any repurcussions? It's normally something like 90 days. If there is anything in the future that is litigious, being past your tenure period is something in your favor.

If you never lied on anything you filled out and signed, your butt is covered. If there were specific questions regarding your health and possible pre-existing conditions and you did NOT answer, you may have another issue that they can terminate your employment for.

As for this person violating your trust, it could just be something she is asking to cover HER butt if something were to happen to you. I went back to work part-time and ended up in the ER with smoke inhalation due to a fire at the plant I was working in. My supervisor was more concerned about a possible OSHA due to my compromised pulmonary system then he would have been had it been a "normal" person. Soon after that, he brought in someone else to do my job and I was basically pushed out...

I look at it as a good thing, I didn't care for the supervisor and am now in a better situation for my health (outside the actual production of chemicals). That does not make the actual feeling of betrayal go away, though.

My long rambling point is that if you were honest in applying for the job, didn't bend the truth or lie on your application and are doing the work, IF you were to get fired, you could most definitely sue. The hidden point - if you're logging on at work, DON'T discuss work online. They've then "gotcha"...

Here's hoping she's just nosey and not stirring a big pot o' sh*t up.

Becky

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Just a note on a "tenure" period. Those may or may not be supported by the law, depending on the state where you reside. Some are "right to work" states, and an employer can fire you for "a good reason, bad reason, or no reason at all," no matter how long you have been there.

Unless an employer has a policy regarding "tenure," there are few places outside of a union contract that have those. The federal law considers you hired no matter how long you've been there -- a day or a decade. There may be waiting periods for benefits, but once you become an employee, unless there is something specific in company policy or state law, there probably isn't a "tenure period" of any duration.

A federal law violation would require discrimination based on age, race, gender, religion, handicap, etc. And, the company has to be large enough to be covered by federal law -- many aren't.

You should have a Department of Labor or the equivalent in your state, and can probably find it on the web. If not, call and ask someone in your state government -- maybe your representative or a local official. They should be able to point you in the right direction.

Di

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First, don't worry. A smart employer or board member will shut her down real quick. Actually, if she worked for me she'd be the one worrying about termination for violating our HIPAA policies. It is a big no no under all the new privacy laws to discuss anyone's personal health information without their permission. It carries a big fine too if you file a complaint.

Here's more:

http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa/

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