Can my former employer pull my background record and display it for the other current employees to view?

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Can my former employer pull my background record and display it for the other current employees to view?

My former employer (who I use to have a personal friendship with) has pulled my background report after I left the company and displayed it to the other current employees to view. What can I do about this? I don’t feel this is professional and I feel that my privacy has been violated. I would like to know what steps I can take? Former co-workers of mine approached me with this information telling me the things that were on my background check. This is very frustrating and hurtful please help guide me in the right direction to resolve this.

Asked on March 24, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You could sue the former employer for invasion of privacy.  Invasion of privacy includes the public disclosure of private facts which occurred here when your former employer disclosed your background information to other employees.

Your lawsuit for invasion of privacy should also include an additional and separate cause of action (claim) for intentional infliction of emotional distress.  Intentional infliction of emotional distress is an extreme and outrageous act intended to cause and which does cause you emotional distress.  In addition to compensatory damages (monetary award for compensation for invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress), you can also seek punitive damages which would be a considerable additional amount of monetary damages to punish the former employer for the intentional and malicious act of disclosing your confidential background information to other employees.


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