Kaiser Fired Woman Without Warning, She Says
(CN) - Kaiser wrongfully fired a woman for allegedly violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), she claims in a San Mateo County Superior Court complaint.
Maritas Putney was employed as a medical assistant for Kaiser since 1987, but was suddenly fired on Aug. 10, 2012 without any warning or disciplinary actions. Kaiser claims she violated HIPPA when she accessed medical records for her daughter-in-law, brother, daughter and son.
“If Putney had briefly accessed these people’s accounts, it was for the purpose of serving them as customers of Kaiser, and was done in accordance with standard operating customs at Kaiser,” according to the complaint.
Putney claims she was not given due process as afforded by her collective bargaining agreement and is not guilty of breaking any laws.
“Putney was not adequately educated of Kaiser’s internal principals of responsibility or of Kaiser’s interpretation of HIPAA,” the complaint states. “Putney did not violate HIPAA or Kaiser’s internal principals of responsibility. Furthermore, even if Putney had violated HIPAA or Kaiser’s internal principals of responsibility, it was a minor infraction and similar alleged acts have been committed by numerous other employees of Kaiser in the same time frame without the result being termination or even suspension.”
Putney is suing The Permanente Medical Group, Inc., Kaiser Permanente Health Plan, Inc., and Kaiser Permanente Ventures LLC for breach of contract, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent inflection of emotional distress and breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. She seeks punitive damages.
The plaintiff is represented by Peter Balogh, in Pacifica, Calif.