Are exit interviews confidential?

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Are exit interviews confidential?

I was terminated from my job and upon exiting I had an exit interview. My supervisor and HR were the only people there. HR expressed that its important to completely express my feelings to help improve the workplace. During the interview, I explained how a certain individual should have helped more. after leaving the company that day, I got a call from the person who’s name I mentioned saying that my supervisor came up to him and told him that I threw him under the bus and kept mentioning his name. Can I file a lawsuit over this?

Asked on August 10, 2011 California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, there is nothing to sue over for several reasons:

1) There is nothing in the law which intrinsically makes either exit interviews specifically or comments to human resources more generally private or protected; in the absence of a specifically enforceable agreement to keep the information private, there is nothing legally wrong with sharing.

2) You do not indicate that there was any specific agreement to hold the information or results confidential.

3) Even if there had been an agreement to hold the information confidential and not share it, there still really wouldn't be anything to sue for--simply being yelled out by another person is *not* something the courts award you compensation for.


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