PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Phoenix Children's sent an email to nearly 370 employees, identifying them as exempt from the hospital's COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
"Wow, what pretty flagrant violation of the law. It's impressive for how clear-cut it is," said Alexander Kolodin, an attorney hired by a nurse on the email. "This is something that should never have happened, and when something that should never have happened happens, and it hurts people, when it leads them into a position where people are judging them because something very private was disclosed, people have rights to get compensation for that."
Kolodin is an attorney with the Davillier Law Group and has worked on medical rights issues across the country. He was retained by a nurse who wishes to remain anonymous at this time.
ADHS Interim Director Don Herrington said in a blog post on Wednesday that "Arizona stands ready" to vaccine children, pending approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
"My response to getting the email was that it makes me feel judged both in the community and my place of work because it makes it feel more of a hostile environment, just being judged for the vaccine status," the nurse said.
The email was sent by the Employee Relations Department, according to that nurse. The email's purpose was to inform exempt employees of new protocols taking place on October 18th; carbon copied on the email were 368 Phoenix Children's employees that were approved for a medical or religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine.
"My biggest fear on that is, gosh, this is a hospital that, if people are trying to entrust them with all kinds of sensitive medical information and if they can't get something like this right, what else aren't they doing right?" Kolodin said.
"If this is the first thing as a breach of privacy that comes out, then what else do they know that's been leaked previously or could have been leaked in the future?" the nurse questioned.
Many people on the email replied to it, explaining their disappointments. One wrote, "your email individually identifies every single person who has sought exemption. This seems to be a violation of privacy of employment/health records."
Kolodin's client said she has heard from other nurses who have filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Services for a HIPAA violation.
"Employers requiring employees to get the shot and disclose that to the employer, the employer is supposed to keep that information and information on exemptions very, very confidential and that, they have failed to do," Kolodin said.
Kolodin is in the process of filing a formal complaint against the hospital. He also said he is "strongly considering" a class-action lawsuit. If you are interested in being part of the class-action lawsuit, call the Davillier Law Group.
Arizona's Family reached out to Phoenix Children's multiple times for a comment; they have not responded so far.