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    injam's Avatar
    injam Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jul 31, 2009, 09:45 AM
    Hippaa law in non medical field.
    Okay I don't know what exactly I need to ask. First I work for my rent and have lived here for 3 yrs. WE have not worked for that long just on and off. Recently something happened on th property and seeing as we talk to the tenants on a personal basis we have been advised that we are under what is called the hippo law. We have always been true to our boss even when we don't agree with what they are doing. I googled the term hippo and it came up in medical field. Can this still be applied to me if I do nt work in that field and the gossip has no medical relationship. It is for the most part gossip. But it is threating my job and continuing to live here. Where do I stand on the topic and how can the landlord apply this law to me. I have three kids and do not think this law would apply to me. I do not like the idea of being threated because I talk to the other tenants on personal issue. Apparently someone is saying we are talking bad about the landlord we work for. We do no such thing. Any advice.
    epawls's Avatar
    epawls Posts: 103, Reputation: 16
    Junior Member

    Jul 31, 2009, 10:12 AM
    The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) laws are in place for any number of reasons. Unless you are divulging medical or mental health information about someone else with out their consent, I am uncertain that you are violating any HIPAA laws. Now, that does not preclude you from being accused of slander.

    Slander is a tort (a civil wrong) that can be filed in a court setting and monetary damages could be awarded.

    Slander is "a type of defamation. Slander is an untruthful oral (spoken) statement about a person that harms the person's reputation or standing in the community. Because slander is a tort (a civil wrong), the injured person can bring a lawsuit against the person who made the false statement. If the statement is made via broadcast media -- for example, over the radio or on TV -- it is considered libel, rather than slander, because the statement has the potential to reach a very wide audience." --taken from Nolo: Law Books, Legal Forms and Legal Software (slander - legal definition)

    Libel is much like slander, but it is usually in writing or broadcasted.

    Typically, the "run of the mill" gossip doesn't come close to being slanderous or libelous, but if the person being talked about somehow loses money or experiences a of loss of reputation due in part to the gossip, you may be held accountable to some extent.
    N0help4u's Avatar
    N0help4u Posts: 19,823, Reputation: 2035
    Uber Member

    Aug 1, 2009, 11:38 AM

    Who are you saying is talking about who and about what?
    Maybe it is best if you quit gossiping then there can't be any accusations.

    This would not fall under HIPAA law unless you are telling others what somebody's doctor or medical records say. Since you said
    Quote Originally Posted by injam View Post
    we have been advised that we are under what is called the hippo law. .
    Your work may follow HIPAA law therefore do not say anything about anybodys health or medical problems
    dontknownuthin's Avatar
    dontknownuthin Posts: 2,910, Reputation: 751
    Ultra Member

    Aug 3, 2009, 08:08 PM

    HIPPA has nothing to do with your situation - it regulates the sharing of medical and mental health information. But your landlord, as your employer, certainly can end your rent for work arrangement if he doesn't like to have you in his employ any longer.

    I'd keep things friendly but not make your tenants your friends - when your housing is in balance, just be professional and find friends who live outside of the building in whom you can confide.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,302, Reputation: 7692

    Aug 3, 2009, 08:22 PM

    There are other laws about giving out personal info from work files. Plus there is liability for a business if they tell personal info on people without permission.

    So you could at leat be fired for it.
    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,503, Reputation: 4600
    Uber Member

    Aug 4, 2009, 06:08 AM

    Here is something I wrote for another poster:

    Briefly - Generally in law libel refers to permanent/written statements and slander refers to non-permanent/spoken statements. Defamation (of character) covers both categories.

    You must be damaged - and prove damages - in order to recover. The statements (either written or spoken) must be false but presented as though they were true and be beyond offensive, derogatory or insulting. Such statement must rise to a level which actually harms a person's reputation. In general the person making the statement must either know it isn't true or make the statement without attempting to verify if it is true.

    The defense to defamation is that the information was not presented as the truth (which covers gossip), that the information was never secret (privileged) and was always public.

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