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Employer inquiries about compensation
I am back to work after surgery to fuse vertebrae. I missed a week of work recently due to headaches/spasms and found out that the lady who submits payroll at our branch contacted our home office Workers' Comp liaison to verify that I wasn't receiving any compensation from WC for the time that I missed. I know that WC may contact an employer about such things, but I feel that my privacy was invaded by my employer (especially since I had not even requested that I be paid by my employer for the missed time). I feel that the lady was just being nosy. Was she within her (the employer's) rights?
Yes. They are within their rights. When you file a WC claim, you lose some privacy issues.

WC varies by state. If you post your state, someone may be able to give you more specific information.
I'm in FL. It just seemed odd to me that on top of all of the other "hostile" actions that this woman has taken against me and another woman who was out on medical leave, that my company would even consider paying me when I had not requested it (didn't even consider it).
If you have a WC claim, the employer and carrier should always discuss whether or not you are being paid by one or the other. The laws are very specific on payments, timeliness of payments, overpayments, etc. It's not being nosy, she's doing her job. I know its uncomfortable sometimes but that is the system. Here's some info on the HIPAA (medical privacy laws) relating to Florida Workers Comp:

If a claim is filed under workers' compensation in Florida, the HIPAA laws do not apply. In fact the statute specifically states that you waive your right to physician-patient confidentiality if you are claiming a work related injury.

On the US Dept of Health & Human Services website in the FAQ's it says this:

Does an individual have a right under the HIPAA Privacy Rule to restrict the protected health information his or her health care provider discloses for workers' compensation purposes?

Individuals do not have a right under the Privacy Rule at 45 CFR 164.522(a) to request that a covered entity restrict a disclosure of protected health information about them for workers’ compensation purposes when that disclosure is required by law or authorized by, and necessary to comply with, a workers’ compensation or similar law. See 45 CFR 164.522(a) and 164.512(a) and (l).

Also in Florida Statutes:

It is the policy for the administration of the workers' compensation system that there shall be reasonable access to medical information by all parties to facilitate the self-executing features of the law. An employee who reports an injury or illness alleged to be work-related waives any physician-patient privilege with respect to any condition or complaint reasonably related to the condition for which the employee claims compensation. Notwithstanding the limitations in s. 456.057 and subject to the limitations in s. 381.004, upon the request of the employer, the carrier, an authorized qualified rehabilitation provider, or the attorney for the employer or carrier, the medical records, reports, and information of an injured employee relevant to the particular injury or illness for which compensation is sought must be furnished to those persons and the medical condition of the injured employee must be discussed with those persons, if the records and the discussions are restricted to conditions relating to the workplace injury. Release of medical information by the health care provider or other physician does not require the authorization of the injured employee
I do not understand why she would even think it was wc if you just had a headache after surgery. Was it a surgery from WC? It just confuses me why and where she would even get the idea to call and ask if it was wc that you were being paid for the week off.
carpal tunnel recurrence/ neuropathy / RSD.
1/29/07 injury date. Permanent. PIR settlement 8/4/08 10%

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