Can a manager contact an employee’s spouse about performance?

Steve Duggan replies:

An employee’s performance is a matter of privacy between the employer and the employee. Asking any person without a need to know, including family members, would be a violation of that right. Of course, if the employee’s spouse is also an employee of the employer with a valid work-related need to know, then the answer is that it would be OK.

Posted 10-18-2016

Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.


About the Author:

Steve Duggan graduated from the Law School at the University of Notre Dame while on active duty in the Air Force. He has extensive experience representing management litigating cases of wrongful termination, employment discrimination, and sexual harassment. Steve also has experience in all phases of administrative litigation of unfair labor practice charges, and class and individual complaints of employment discrimination. He has been an instructor of seminars for supervisors and managers on labor management relations and other personnel issues, and for lawyers in basic and advanced trial advocacy courses. Steve came on board with Fair Measures in 1998.