Legal Question in Health Care Law in California

I work in a pharmacy. Someone came to our drive up window and said they are covid positive and need to pick up their medication (for some other issue). We told them to hold on we would get it for them. They wanted to come into the store and I told them to stay in the car and they were not allowed to enter the store because of them being covid positive. We were busy so the lady came into the store and I told her again that she needed to leave because she is covid positive. The woman complained to my manager and said I violated her HIPPAA rights for saying that out loud. I didn't yell it out or scream it out....I did tell her that....I admit it. My manager called me into the office and fired me for violating HIPPAA. It seems too harsh for such a small thing but is there anything I can do about it? They have video, they can go back and look at the footage....they can clearly see that I am not yelling or screaming. I've complained about the manager before so I feel like this is her retaliating against me.

Asked on 8/24/22, 4:55 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Unfortunately as an at-will employee, they do not have to have a valid excuse for firing you as long as they are not firing you because of your race, gender, etc. Managers are also free to retaliate against subordinates as long as it's not retaliation for exercising a protected right, such as being a whistleblower. The best you can do with the information you include in your question is use it to fight against them if they try to deny you unemployment benefits by claiming it was a "for cause" termination.

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Answered on 8/25/22, 12:26 pm

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