Would you report this illegal request?

P4i6g / P4i65g
August 26, 2011 at 15:00:58
Specs: Windows XP Home 2002, Asrock 2.8GHz / 2 Gb
Possibly a hypothetical situation, possibly not...

Bob, Mary and Karen work for a firm that provides care for clients with a certain type of disability. Each client has a "Care Plan" in their file which is accessible to all care providers that work at the facility. The facility is state funded and all the HIPPA rules apply.

Bob gets fired because of poor performance.

A week after being let go, Bob leaves Mary a voice mail asking her to make a copy of a specific client's Care Plan and bring it to him that evening. No reason is given, just a "Do me a favor..." request.

Mary tells Karen about the voice mail and says that she is not going to do it, but is not sure if she should report the request to their boss, the one who fired Bob.

If you were Mary, would you report the request or ignore it?

If you were Karen, would you tell Mary that if she doesn't report it, you will have to because now that you know about it, you don't want it to come back and bite you later for knowing about it but not reporting it?

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#1
August 26, 2011 at 16:22:21
If you were Mary, would you report the request or ignore it?
Were it me, I'd tell my boss. If he cares enough to deal with the paperwork, he could pursue it. If not and a third party initiates some legal process, I'd have a record of me telling my boss.

Would that be enough to keep me out of trouble? Maybe, maybe not. IANAL, and whatnot.

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#2
August 26, 2011 at 18:05:39
re: "Would that be enough to keep me out of trouble? Maybe, maybe not"

What kind of trouble could you possibly be in? You were asked to do something illegal but you didn't do it. After telling your boss, how could you possibly be in trouble for anything?

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#3
August 27, 2011 at 05:19:29
Maybe I'm far too worried about lawyers who are far too willing to file malpractice lawsuits. (Having a billboard down the street from the hospital asking, "Were you wronged?" will do that.) Still, you were asked to do something illegal, and because you didn't tell someone, you covered it up.

Really, my goal was always to get the trouble far enough up the chain that the company lawsuit insurance would kick in.

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#4
August 28, 2011 at 07:22:45
If I were Mary I would ask myself "Has Bob provided me with a multi million dollar beach home and does he, whenever I request it, give me the kind of sex that makes my eyes roll back in my head and me sleep for 12 hours afterwords?" If not then I will make it my lifes work to see to it he burns. If I were Karen I would take Mary by force if needed to meet with the boss. These 2 people are not going to ruin my livelyhood.

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#5
August 28, 2011 at 15:40:45
I would say no to the request and then report it......It would then be the boss's responsibility to inform other employees of other possible request and HIPPAS
privacy act.

I keep a notepad at work , saves my butt.


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#6
August 28, 2011 at 18:05:58
Here in the UK if Mary were to accede to such a request she would be in direct contravention of the Data Protection Act by giving information to those not entitled to receive it. Bob would also be liable for prosecution for attempting to obtain the information.

That's the legal side of it. The moral side is that Mary, being an employee of the Care Centre has "Duty of Care" to the patients and therefore has a moral obligation to report the attempt to gain personal information.

If Mary did nothing or she told Karen and Karen did nothing and it was later discovered that they did nothing there would be no legal repercussions but it would put their loyalty in doubt.

Stuart


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#7
August 29, 2011 at 08:15:08
This is pretty black and white to me..........

If you were Mary, would you report the request or ignore it?

I'd first tell Bob (immediately upon receiving the request) that the answer is "No, I won't do that for you sorry." Then I'd immediately call my boss and report it.

If you were Karen, would you tell Mary that if she doesn't report it, you will have to because now that you know about it, you don't want it to come back and bite you later for knowing about it but not reporting it?

I most definitely would.

Here's my reasoning:

Bob is no longer an employee of the company and as such, no longer has access to the companies files and information. Therefore him accessing said files/information is illegal. Anyone helping him do so is abetting a criminal in the act of a crime.

I will not risk my livelyhood, my career, and my reputation to help a disgruntled ex-employee do anything. Period, end of story.

In fact, I'd take it one step further and at the time of the request, after telling Bob, "not a snowflakes chance in hell" I'd tell him for even asking me, he's put himself on my "never talk to again" list and should he have the gall to ask me again, he'd find himself on my "beat your head into a new shape" list.

I'm not perfect. I speed as much as I can without risking a ticket (say 5-6 mph/10 kmh) when I'm on the highway (speeding in the city is just stupid because you don't actually get anywhere faster) but that's about it for my illegal activities. I will not risk my life and/or freedom to aid a criminal. If Bob were my brother, he'd get the exact same response only I'd probably go apply a full set of lumps immediately instead of just threatening them. My brothers should know better than to ask me to do something like that!

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#8
August 30, 2011 at 06:45:48

"he'd find himself on my "beat your head into a new shape" list." I love this. I have to get me one of these lists. I alrrady have the "never talk to again" list and the "kick your butt up on your shoulders" list. I dabbled with a "rip your head off and shove it up your wassue" list but it seemed to worry some that I would actually keep track of such a list.

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#9
October 28, 2011 at 09:14:04
I take it that you must be Mary. High Mary, I am .....the BOSS!!!!!! and Bob is still working for me. You see, we only pretended to fire him. The plan was to make you think that he was fired and then have him call you up asking for the restricted files.
Well Mary,....you are fired. This is a situation where you should not have to think about this and should notify me immediately, and of coarse, you did not do this.
Oh, by the way, Karen has been arrested because she wanted $250.oo for the files.
We had "Bob" call her up also. Your last check will be ready on friday .

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#10
October 28, 2011 at 12:25:55
Hi BOSS!!!!!!, I'm Mary's lawyer, and here's her wrongful termination lawsuit. See you in court.

Disclaimer: I am not really a lawyer.

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#11
October 28, 2011 at 19:39:52
Blakenstein,

It has now been 2 months since the hypothetical incident occurred, but thanks for offering an opinion.

In the time since my original post, Mary has passed away from a rare infection she acquired while vacationing in the Congo.

Bob married Karen and they started their own care facility. With the loss of Mary, Bob and Karen, and unable to find qualified caregivers in a timely manner, the original firm was forced to close their doors.

The Boss from the original firm, unable to find another supervisory job in these troubling economic times, now works for Bob and Karen in an entry level position.

The specific client from the original incident took his care plan with him when the firm closed down. He then, unbeknownst to anyone sans himself, altered the plan before giving it to Bob and Karen and hiring them to provide his care. He now gets daily massages with aroma therapy, weekly trips to a local ranch for therapeutic horseback rides, and meals fit for a king.

Life is strange.

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#12
October 29, 2011 at 10:50:11
TO Razor 2.3:
High Marys lawyer; Our company was recently audited and found to be in finacial difficulty. We just don,t have enough work orders.
Mary was laid off due to work shortage. Her name was put on the lay off list before this incident took place. Further more, we have a signed statement by her that states as follows: Any event where the detection of attempted breach of our security, is not immediately reported, will result in immediate termination.

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#13
October 29, 2011 at 10:52:14
To Derby Dad 03;
Where's my pay check???

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#14
October 29, 2011 at 11:35:53
Any event where the detection of attempted breach of our security, is not immediately reported, will result in immediate termination.
Yeah, I doubt that'd fly. Employee rights, and all that. Even if it did, you'd have to point out the exact clause in the contract the employee signed when she was hired. I've worked a lot of jobs in my life, and I've never seen that clause.

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