Can I go after my supervisor for violation of my privacy rights at work?

UPDATED: Aug 20, 2012

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Can I go after my supervisor for violation of my privacy rights at work?

I recently took 2 weeks off from work to deal with a problem that I had with pain pills. At that time I notified the HR office and 2 of my supervisors. When I returned to work one of my co-workers approached me and said to me that she was very proud of me for going through with what I did and that its a hard thing to do, that her son is going through the samething and she congratulated me for doing it. Now I know for a fact that one of my supervisors told her,so I spoke to my union rep and explained what was going on. He is setting up a meeting with my boss.Is there anything that can be done legally?

Asked on August 20, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Connecticut


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, unless the supervisor had specifically promised confidentiality to you, there is most likely no legal recourse. The law does not make information about a problem with pain pills necessarily confidential, or state that anything told to a supervisor about a personal problem is automatically confidential. There must have been an agreement to maintain confidentiality. If there was such an agreement, however, then you may be able to take legal action for its breach.

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 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.

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