Montana Judge Rules in Favor of Employee in HIPAA Violation

A judge found that the Rocky Mountain Eye Center in Montana wrongfully claimed an HIPAA violation when firing an employee.

A judge in Montana found that a healthcare employee is protected under the National Labor Relations Act after she violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Britta Brown worked for Rocky Mountain Eye Center, or RMEC, when she accessed the Centricity computer system to give her coworker’s personal information to a union organizing campaign. RMEC learned about Brown’s union organizing attempts and terminated her on the grounds that she violated HIPAA regulations on healthcare privacy.

But a judge found that because RMEC stored employee and patient data together and trained employees to access coworker information through Centricity Brown’s discipline was inappropriate. The judge specifically found that RMEC used the HIPAA violation to “stop [the employee’s] union activity” according to
After Brown was terminated she applied for unemployment benefits and was denied.


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