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I had a zoom call with one of the directors and a HR representative about my return to work after an occupational heath review, which suggested the relationship between myself and management had broken down, but otherwise i was fit to work.

The discussion for quite heated at times and spoke about what problems I had at work, such as feedback from one of my line managers.

I received the meeting minutes from the director on the morning after, stating the three of us in attendance.

I returned to work the following day and my manager pulls me for an informal chat in her office, and proceeds to tell me she heard everything about her that I said in the meeting as she was sat off screen. I later learn that the other director was also sat off screen.

I would have half expected the second director to be there as his desk is next to. However my managers desk is downstairs.

I screen capped the call, and you can see the director looking to them.

Is that a breach of trust and confidentiality, as the reason for the meeting was a breakdown of relationship?

I was then lied to as to who was in attendance in the meeting, and would never had found out unless she hadn’t said, although a colleague also corroborates that they were in there.

  • "Is that a breach of trust and confidentiality, as the reason for the meeting was a breakdown of relationship?" Are you asking from a legal standpoint? It's certainly a deceptive tactic and probably a good reason to start looking for your next job. – AffableAmbler Jul 2 at 1:17
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    Could this be a breach of HIPAA regulations if they talked about private health-related information? Or are employers exempt from HIPAA regulations? I'm asking because I don't know. – Stephan Branczyk Jul 2 at 3:24
  • @Stephan - Supervisors typically are need to know when dealing with HIPAA regulations. They can’t share that knowledge with other employees they supervise though. – Donald Jul 2 at 10:53
  • Are you asking merely for others to validate your feeling that this was "wrong" in terms of decency, or are you asking if it was illegal and thus actionable? – JenInCode Jul 2 at 17:48
  • Contacted ICO and there may be a possible breach of transparency because of the minutes I received not declaring the other two. Also contacted ACAS, who identified 3 options, settlement, grievance or breakdown of implied trust. So I will be looking for settlement, even just a minimum of no fees. I also contacted a solicitor who leaned that way. – TinyMushroom Jul 2 at 20:44
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Honestly, it’s very poor behavior on their part, to be sure, but work is different when it comes to making decisions about employees. It’s no different than if they’d just shared the minutes with other managers and told them everything you said.

They can hide people, similar to an email BCC or additional people on a conference call on mute - but it still does feel like violation of your trust to not be up front about it. It is understandably upsetting and from my experience shows that the breakdown is likely permanent and irreparable.

Typically in these situations, from what I’ve seen, the goal would be to get you to quit or to say something that would warrant termination. If you can, get your resume together and start looking for a place that treats employees with a little more dignity.

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It was certainly a breach of ethics, and highly unprofessional, but until personal and confidential information was being discussed, such as medical problems, disabilities, or mental health issues, it's not a breach of confidentiality to have them in, but when the meeting minutes were falsified, it became one.

It's a scummy move that would make me want to leave the company, but not a breach, until the meeting minutes falsified who was in attendance, especially if those minutes were an official document.

You may want to do a consult with an employment law specialist, but it would probably be less grief for you to move on.

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