Can my employer/former employer distribute my signed contract to a third party?

UPDATED: Feb 5, 2011

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Can my employer/former employer distribute my signed contract to a third party?

What if my former employer handed out my signed contract with them to a third party without my consent? is that legal? If not, what kind of damages could I go after them for? Can I also go after the third party for illegally obtaining the contract?

Asked on February 5, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

There is no law saying that Party B may not hand a contract with party A to party C; contracts are not inherently protected or confidential material and may in theory be posted on the World Wide Web. Of course, there are some exceptions: the contract itself or some other agreement between the parties may call for confidentiality; also to the degree that the contract could theoretically contain information which should be protected (e.g. one person's social security number, family information, or health information--it's not likely, but there could be private information in there) that private information should be redacted or blacked out. However, there is no general rule or law against showing a contract to third parties or requiring consent to do so.

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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