Can I sue an employer if a confidential statement I have written is disclosed to other employees?

I wrote and signed a confidential statement pertaining to an investigation in my work place where I disclosed two other employees who had knowledge of the event under investigation. My exact statement has been told to the two parties involved and they in turn have told other employees and I am now being treated unfairly and am very uncomfortable to be there.

Asked on August 17, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Nevada

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The first and most critical issue is whether the employer promised confidentiality before you wrote out your statement, and was that the only reason you wrote it out? If the employer did, then you may be able to sue employer for breach of that confidentiality agreement; if you believe this was the case, you should speak with an attorney to see if there was, under these circumstances, an enforceable confidentiality agreement and also what your recourse may be (i.e. under the circumstances, what could you sue for--and would it be worthwhile).

If confidentiality was not promised prior to you writing your statment, then the employer most likely had no obligation to keep it confidential.

Even if confidentiality was promised, there are circumstances under which the employer may have been entitled to, or even required to, share the information with the parties involved. Your attorney can discuss that with you, too, but the first hurdle is establishing whether you had a right to confidentiality in the first place.


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