Can I Take Legal Action Against My Employer for a HIPAA Violation?

Blocksurvey blog author
May 17, 2024 · 2 mins read

Has your organisation uncovered your private health records? Maybe cybercriminals have breached your employer's health records, or HR mistakenly shared your employee's record with a colleague. It ought to even be that a disgruntled supervisor disclosed an incapacity you had stored confidential.

Regardless of the circumstances, it is certainly a sad state of affairs. Your health, medical records and patient information are all extremely sensitive and have to be handled with the utmost confidentiality. Unfortunately, once the information is out there is no turning back.

If your personal health information has been disclosed without your consent, you may be seeking clarity on your legal recourse and protection. The purpose of this article is to provide you with the knowledge you need to understand your claims and legal options moving forward.

Is this a HIPAA breach?

It's a possibility. Your employer may be subject to HIPAA requirements if they serve as a sponsor or administrator of a group health plan, a designation that applies to many, though not all, companies. If your health information was shared with the company as part of a group health plan, any such disclosure could potentially breach HIPAA's Privacy Rule.

Regrettably, navigating healthcare regulations isn't straightforward. Determining whether your corporation falls under the Privacy Rule's compliance umbrella and whether a breach happened necessitates cautious analysis by using a healthcare regulation legal professional.

If the prison suggests that the leak certainly violated HIPAA, two commonplace avenues of action emerge: accommodations a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or pursuing a negligence lawsuit towards the organization.

Examples of HIPAA violations

HIPAA Violation Description
Improper Access to Employee Health Information Employers accessing and reviewing the medical records or health information of their employees without a legitimate need or proper authorization.
Inadequate Safeguards for Employee Health Information Employers failing to implement appropriate security measures to protect the confidentiality and integrity of employee health information, such as storing health records in an insecure location or failing to secure electronic health systems.
Unauthorized Disclosure of Employee Health Information Employers sharing an employee’s medical condition, treatment details, or other sensitive health information with individuals who are not involved in the employee’s healthcare or have a legitimate reason to access that information.
Retaliation against Employees Employers retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under HIPAA, such as filing a complaint or reporting a violation.
Insufficient Employee Training Employers neglecting to provide adequate training and education to employees on HIPAA regulations and the proper handling of employee health information, leading to unintentional violations.
Improper Use of Employee Health Information Employers using employee health information for purposes unrelated to healthcare, such as making employment decisions based on an employee’s health condition or sharing health information for non-work-related reasons.
Lack of Written Policies and Procedures Employers failing to establish and maintain written policies and procedures outlining how employee health information should be handled, safeguarded, and disclosed, as required by HIPAA.


In conclusion, the decision to pursue legal action against an employer for a HIPAA violation is a significant one that requires careful consideration of various factors. While HIPAA regulations provide protections for individuals' health information, the process of proving a violation and seeking recourse through legal channels can be complex.

Before deciding to sue your employer for a HIPAA violation, it's essential to consult with a qualified attorney who specializes in healthcare law. They can provide guidance on the strength of your case, the potential outcomes of legal action, and the steps involved in pursuing a lawsuit.

Ultimately, whether or not to sue your employer for a HIPAA violation is a personal decision that depends on your individual circumstances, the severity of the violation, and your desired outcome. Regardless of the path you choose, it's crucial to prioritize protecting your rights and ensuring that appropriate measures are taken to address the breach of your privacy and confidentiality.

Can I Take Legal Action Against My Employer for a HIPAA Violation? FAQ

Can I take legal action against my employer for a HIPAA violation?

Yes, you can take legal action against your employer for a HIPAA violation. HIPAA is a federal law that protects the privacy of your medical information.

What kind of legal action can I take against my employer for a HIPAA violation?

You can file a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights, and you may also have the right to file a lawsuit against your employer for damages.

How can I prove that my employer violated HIPAA?

You can gather evidence such as emails, documents, or witness statements that show your employer disclosed your medical information without your consent.

What should I do if I suspect my employer has violated HIPAA?

You should document the violation, report it to the appropriate authorities, and consider seeking legal advice from an attorney who specializes in HIPAA violations.

Is it worth it to take legal action against my employer for a HIPAA violation?

It depends on the severity of the violation and the impact it has had on you. Consulting with a legal professional can help you determine the best course of action.

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blog author description

Vimala Balamurugan

Vimala heads the Content and SEO Team at BlockSurvey. She is the curator of all the content that BlockSurvey puts out into the public domain. Blogging, music, and exploring new places around is how she spends most of her leisure time.


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