What are an employee’s right to privacy in the workplace?

My daughter worked for a national fast food chain but had to quit her job due to a medical family emergency. one of her supervisors was upset she didn’t put in her two weeks notice and told another employee her business, yelling it from the office to where all the other employees on the floor could hear it. Isn’t there some sort of privacy policy that he should not have been able to do that? Were my daughter’s privacy rights violated? When we spoke to this supervisors superior he claims that this manager said he did nothing of the sort. However, 2 of the employees working that shift heard what he said an are willing to admit to what they heard. Does she have any grounds for a case?

Asked on September 15, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

What you describe is unprofessional and unethical, but is not illegal unless there is a specific confidentiality agreement in place, anything told to one person--even something personal, such as about a family medical emergency--can be told by that person to any other person, even in the workplace and even by a supervisor.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.