What to do if my ex-boss giving out personal information regarding a reference?

I have a PM from the person who told me that she did this. Is this enough to sue as she basically told the reference check person and showed her things from my file?

Asked on February 26, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona


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

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

What can or cannot be divulged by an employer has to do with just what information was released. If it had to do with any medical condition or disability that you have regarding an "accomodation" under the ADA, if you had to do with your banking information or SSN, or if it was regarding a drug test or background check, then that would be a violation of your privacy rights. However, if it had to do with your job peformance such as an annual review, write-ups for disciplinary actions, the amount of your wages or the like, then such a disclosure was perfectly permissable. Also, if you had an employment contract or union agreement that addressed such a disclosure, then its terms would also control.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Only a few specific things--information about any disabilities or medical conditions you shared with your employer for FMLA or "reasonable accommodation" purposes; drug test results; criminal background check results; SSNs or bank account information--is protected or confidential. Anything else--e.g. your performance views, disciplinary write-ups, complaints made by or about you, your salary/wages, etc.--can be shared at will. It may be inappropriate, but it is legal.

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