I worked for a company for over four years. I learned during that time that my manager was close friends with a cousin of mine, whom I do not get along with. I was fired recently, and found out that my manager not only told his friend, my cousin, that I was fired, but also why I was fired. Can he do this?
Steve Duggan replies:
No, it was clearly wrong for your former manager to tell anyone without a need to know, including your friends and family members, that you were fired and the reason that you were fired. An employee has a right to privacy with respect to such employment information, particularly the reason for the termination. On a practical level, I am not sure what remedy is available to you, though. Litigation costs money and, unless you can find a lawyer willing to front costs for you and take the case on a contingency basis and can show significant damages, the potential recovery doesn’t appear on these facts alone to warrant the expense. I am not aware of any agency that you could make a complaint to. So, the only likely remedy is merely a complaint about the manager to your former employer, which should be concerned enough about a blabber-mouth manager to take some action if it finds the evidence warrants such a conclusion.
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