I was recently up for a disciplinary as I failed a drugs test for cannabis. When the company received the scores back from the testers, they published the three peoples scores on each of the letters we received. While I was on suspension a colleague from work was telling other staff when we would be receiving a letter. I was told this and that letter showed up the next day so he was correct. To add to this, one of the agency staff saw my other colleague who was also on suspension and told him he knew our scores for the positive test results. He was correct also. I know this is breach of confidentiality, but how serious is it. I want to make the complaint but don't know if I want him sacked if it warrants it. Can someone tell me how serious this is. The person blabbing was a manager who was sitting in on the disciplinary process, being trained.
closed as off-topic by gnat, nvoigt, scaaahu, IDrinkandIKnowThings, O. Jones Dec 16 '18 at 19:22
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You've been disciplined for using drugs and you want to take a few stabs on the way out.
You may want to rethink your priorities, you have some major and immediate problems that this will not fix or help with, and will add at least one bitter enemy to your tally.
Clear breaches of confidentiality in my book.
A lawyer will be able to tell you how serious and what courses of action you have.
I suggest to consult legal counsel before taking further steps.
I am not a lawyer. I don't think HIPAA applies here. You (likely) consented to drug test as part of your employment agreement. It is a violation of confidentiality but I don't think it is criminal. If you want to sue consult an lawyer. Also consider they could fire you.
This would only be a confidentiality requirement if it happened outside of work.
If you reported to work with drugs in your system, then you are the one who made it a work issue. Once your behavior starts affecting project deadlines, quality, or especially if it affects safety (for example if you were operating machinery while under the influence) then there is a legitimate business reason to tell the people your choices have affected.
The drugs play on your emotions and are making you blind to their effect on your job. I've seen this in a close friend, he became combative and unproductive, but he felt the opposite because he was experiencing the drugs, not the situation.
For that matter, (perfectly legal) medicine that I take for allergy relief slows my mental processes and impedes my focus. Must cost my employer a significant amount. My bosses balance this against the work I do and determine I still provide them with significant value even at reduced productivity.
If you any hope of convincing your employer your good outweighs the bad, they're going to have to be able to discuss and share your situation with coworkers, to make the best use of your efforts. Demanding a right to confidentiality makes it impossible for your team to work with you. So you've already seen the outcome of that: zero-tolerance policies. When it becomes legally dangerous to give someone a second chance, the policy will be no second chances. Going to court is expensive for a company, even if they prevail because they can show a legitimate business reason.
Finally, even if your accusation plays out in court and finds that this supervisor blabbed too much, it's not going to help you. The supervisor might pay the price, and you might save some of your coworkers from a privacy violation in the future (assuming the supervisor has loose lips on other subjects too). But you're still fired, the company has solid evidence to back up their decision.