What is my recourse if a co-worker accessed my personal file without permission?

They walked into file area and looked at my personal file with intent of finding out my salary. I have no idea what else she looked at. This situation was reported with nothing done and since this occurrence she has had a vendetta against me. Our manager, her good friend, will not help me and I feel that I’m going to lose my job because of her actions to throw me under the bus when I have done nothing wrong..

Asked on November 2, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Actually, you have no recourse in this matter; for the most part a worker has no right to privacy regarding their personnel file. Therefore, unless this action violated the terms of an employment contract or union agreement no law has been broken. It is up to your employer's discretion as to whether or not to take action. The fact is that most work relationships are "at will" which means that a company can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit (absent some form of legally actionable discrimination).

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Actually, you have no recourse in this matter; for the most part a worker has no right to privacy regarding their personnel file. Therefore, unless this action violated the terms of an employment contract or union agreement no law has been broken. It is up to your employer's discretion as to whether or not to take action. The fact is that most work relationships are "at will" which means that a company can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit (absent some form of legally actionable discrimination).


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